(Photo : Reuters)
Now that George Zimmerman has been acquitted in the killing of Trayvon Martin, his lawyer is set to pursue a lawsuit against NBC News for defamation of character.
The suit charges NBC for depicting Zimmerman as a racist by manipulating the 911 call that he made in Sanford, Fla. to report Martin as "suspicious."
The network was forced to apologize for its botched editing of Zimmerman's 911 call which made it sound like Zimmerman voluntarily told an operator that Martin was black.
Here is what NBC edited:
Zimmerman: "This guy looks like he's up to no good. He looks black."
However, the on the full tape, the 29-year-old volunteer neighborhood watch captain actually says:
"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 911 Police Dispatcher replied to Zimmerman asking, "OK, and this guy - is he black, white or Hispanic?"
To which Zimmerman said "He looks black."
According to the suit, "NBC News saw the death of Trayvon Martin not as a tragedy but as an opportunity to increase ratings, and so set about to create the myth that George Zimmerman was a racist and predatory villain," Deadline.com.
NBC correspondent Ron Allen is named as a defendant, along with Lilia Rodriguez Luciano and Jeff Burnside. However, Lucianoo and Burnside were fired after an internal investigation determined that the tape had been edited. NBC apologized to Zimmerman, but that was not enough.
The Washington Post spoke to Zimmerman attorney James Beasley, who said that the suit had been suspended until Zimmerman's murder trial was completed. Now that the trial is over, Beasley wrote, "We're going to start in earnest asap."