- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 1, 2014

A Florida judge has tossed George Zimmerman’s defamation suit against NBC, saying the broadcast network did not act with malice when it selectively edited the 911 call he made about 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.

Mr. Zimmerman hit NBC with the suit in late 2012, claiming the station purposely edited tape recordings of his emergency telephone call about Trayvon to paint him as a racist. But a circuit court judge disagreed with his allegation.

The judge ruled Monday that Mr. Zimmerman was a public figure and that NBC officials did not act with “actual malice” when they broadcast an edited version of the 911 call, the New York Daily News reported.

NBC spokeswoman Ali Zelenko said the network was “gratified by the court’s dismissal of this lawsuit, which we have always believed to be without merit.”

Mr. Zimmerman was acquitted of murder and manslaughter in the shooting death of Trayvon in 2013.

During the 911 call on Feb. 26, 2012, Mr. Zimmerman, who was on patrol duty for his housing community at the time, told the dispatcher, “This guy looks like he’s up to no good, or he’s on drugs or something. It’s raining, and he’s just walking around, looking about.”

The dispatcher then responded: “OK, and this guy — is he black, white or Hispanic?”

“He looks black,” Mr. Zimmerman replied.

When NBC broadcast the audio, however, Mr. Zimmerman could only be heard saying, “This guy looks like he’s up to no good … He looks black.”

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