George Zimmerman's Defamation Suit Against NBC Tossed Out
Seminole County Sheriff's Office from 2012. George Zimmerman
Earlier today the lawsuit George Zimmerman had filed against NBC -- and three reporters, on the basis of defamation -- was dismissed by Circuit Judge Debra S. Nelson, according to the Orlando Sentinel.
Zimmerman filed the suit in 2012 and accused the outlet of "yellow journalism". This came after NBC aired an edited clip of Zimmerman, who was acquitted in 2013 of second-degree murder and manslaughter in the '12 shooting death of teenager Trayvon Martin.
The clip had Zimmerman saying on a 911 call simply: "This guy looks like he's up to no good ... He looks black." On the actual call, though, Zimmerman said: "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." He was then asked whether Martin was white, black or Hispanic and he answered black.
Since the incident, NBC has fired two employees involved, and the judge threw out the case. A spokesperson for the news outlet said they were "gratified by the court's dismissal of this lawsuit, which we have always believed to be without merit."
Zimmerman, now, still owes his defense attorneys $2.5 million, according to the Associated Press.
Among other things, Nelson said in her report today that the changes made to the call were not material and that Zimmerman mentioned Martin's race a second time during the call without provocation.
"There exists absolutely no clear and convincing evidence that defendants knew that the information published was false at the time it was published, or recklessly disregarded the truth or falsity of those statements," Nelson wrote.