NBC News admitted Tuesday it made an error in editing the audiotape of the 911 call George Zimmerman made moments before the Florida neighborhood watch volunteer shot and killed teenager Trayvon Martin in February.
“During our investigation it became evident that there was an error made in the production process that we deeply regret,” NBC News representative Lauren Kapp said in a statement on Tuesday. “We will be taking the necessary steps to prevent this from happening in the future and apologize to our viewers.”
NBC came under fire after Fox News and others analyzed “before-and-after” versions of the phone call and pointed out that the NBC version, which aired on the “Today” show, edited out a question from the police dispatcher, who specifically asked Mr. Zimmerman to describe the race of the man he considered suspicious.
In the edited version, Mr. Zimmerman says: “This guy looks like he’s up to no good. He looks black.”
But on the unedited tape, a question from the dispatcher — “Is he black, white or Hispanic?” — immediately precedes and prompts Mr. Zimmermen’s “He looks black” comment.
Mr. Zimmerman has told police that he shot the 17-year-old in self defense, but civil rights activists have argued that the shooting was racially motivated and have called for an arrest and trial.