George Zimmerman filed a complaint against NBC Universal and three of its employees in relation to its coverage of the murder of Trayvon Martin.
In a 24-page complaint, Zimmerman says NBC News used Martin’s death as an opportunity to increase ratings. Zimmerman also says NBC’s coverage painted him as a racist in its editing of a 911 tape. He is suing over defamation and intentional infliction of emotional stress.
On his website, Zimmerman explains:
The night of the shooting I was taken to the Sanford police station and was read my Miranda rights. Aware I had the right to remain silent, I chose to tell investigators what happened. In the hours and days that followed, I cooperated completely with the authorities, and during that thorough investigation, the consensus among law enforcement was that I should not be charged.
However, in the days and weeks following the shooting a story was promoted that I am a racist and a murderer. These untruths spread through the community, the government, and the nation, amplified by a media frenzy seeking ratings over truth. This was no more apparent than when NBC repeatedly edited the recording of a call I made, intentionally misrepresenting me as a racist. Unfortunately, their plan worked, truth suffered that day, and my family and I have suffered every day since. That is why I am filing a lawsuit against NBC. The details of the complaint can be found on a website created by my legal team: www.gzvnbc.com.
Filed in Seminole County, the complaint seeks a trial by jury and an unspecified amount of damages.
Zimmerman has been charged with second-degree murder in the killing of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, who was unarmed. Zimmerman, a former neighborhood watch volunteer, has pleaded not guilty, insisting that he shot the teenager in self-defense. He has invoked Florida’s controversial "Stand Your Ground" law, which allows people to use deadly force in instances where they feel threatened.
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(Photo: Stephen M. Dowell-Pool/Getty Images)