Trayvon Martin 911 Call Controversy: NBC Apologizes For Editing George Zimmerman Recording

by at . Comments
A version of the 911 tape of George Zimmerman reporting suspicious behavior by Trayvon Martin before killing him was edited, NBC admitted this week.
George Zimmerman Picture

It wasn't doctored - his words were left intact - but it's what we didn’t hear that sheds light on the ultimately fatal Martin-Zimmerman confrontation.

On March 27, NBC’s Today Show aired Zimmerman’s call to the police, featuring these words: “This guy looks like he's up to no good … he looks black.”

The recording went viral, no doubt shaping public bias against Zimmerman. But it turns out Today shortened, and thus altered the meaning of, the call:

Here is the fuller version of the recording:

    Zimmerman: "This guy looks like he's up to no good. Or like he's on drugs or something. It's raining and he's just walking around, looking about."
    911 dispatcher: "OK, and this guy ... is he black, white or Hispanic?"
    Zimmerman: [pauses] "He looks black."

George Zimmerman’s actions February 26 remain dubious, and may still lead to criminal charges. Edited or not, the call still obviously shows he was told not to follow Martin that night, and his self-defense claim is highly questionable.

But, right now, he has not been charged.

Moreover, his description of Martin came only in response to a dispatcher's question. Was this racial profiling? Maybe. But the media dropped the ball.

Earlier this week, the network revealed its blunder.

"During our investigation it became evident that there was an error made in the production process that we deeply regret," said the network. "We will take the necessary steps to prevent this from happening in the future and apologize to our viewers."

The circumstances surrounding this divisive episode are undeniably complex. NBC's error will hopefully cause others to reflect on the extent to which the media and public pre-judge the Trayvon Martin case, which is still under investigation.


@ Faith Nahhhhh, he's just pointing out the obvious. Truth is truth.


I guess you're the entertaining one, Marcus from Orlando?


Karma + Faith = the same person + 2. same old hat- Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.


@Karma.....well said! Some Americans need to be reminded that a young boy died unneccessarily. He could have been spared if the vigilante had not been so willing to go after him. He should have thought to himself that if the kid was doing anything wrong, the police he called would have found something. Period end of story. But he wanted it to "be" an issue. I feel that he forced the problem because of his internal anger. White, Hispanic, doesn't matter. Anger is anger and that is what he had. Even though race issue here is the pink elephant....the events that transpired on Feb 26th are enough for all of us to be upset with or without race. We have enough problems in this nation w/o having to shoot down children. If he was trigger happy, he should have really tried to become a cop......continued


Let us remove race from the equation. An Innocent 17 year old was killed, by an older self appointed protector of his subdivision, And it was based purely on the assumption of wrong doing by the deceased. This is not entirely a racial issue, this is an American issue. Vigilantes cannot follow the innocent because of what they "might" do or the suspected "threat" they cause to the community. This is America, no one white, black, hispanic, latino should be in favor of this kind of vigilante-ism. For if it is not trully based on race, that means it could happen to anyone. So we all should stand up and say it was wrong!


@A see DBs point, but u don't see mine? My question to DB was rhetorical. How can u possible question that I'm closed minded when I'm clearly against racism. DB only quotes from blacks against whites....what happened to quotes from whites against blacks?? Who's closed minded? DB and A Chick.....who's probably the same person but too cowardly to respond under their own name. Get a clue!


@faith- I think DB made her point. is it possible that you are too closed mind to see this.


@dp Thanks for the enlightening comments you offer us. Yes, there IS racism among the black community. Trouble is they are many times too busy pointing a finger to other ethnic groups, lecturing them about racism and making the case that only THEY experience legal injustice in society. How far from the truth that is! On Nat'l Hoodie Day, I think whites should stand out there as well bare-headed and hold posters with the photos of black on white crime victims who's cases are tainted with injustice. Hispanics and Asians plus other ethnic groups should be invited as well to this event to take a stance on their view, too. Let's bring EVERYONE to the table...shall we????????


SPIKE LEE, RUSSELL SIMMONS, OUTED ON CNN: As a Black male, I am amazed at how each time a Trayvon Martin like case occurs, the MEDIA seeks out and appoints the same tired, and exploitive individuals as "Black leadership" as if we voted for them. The truth of the matter is these individuals are responsible for such incidents as much as the alleged perpetrator by not doing 1 thing to prevent them (which can be easily done). If such incidents as the Trayvon Martin case didn't occur what would Russell Simmons, Spike Lee, Jesse Jackson, and Al Sharpton do to legitimize themselves, and in regards to the latter 2-make a living. The truth is they all PROFIT from such incidents, and have zero incentive to see them prevented. These people are typewriters in an Apple and Google world, and need to be gotten rid of by Blacks if we sincerely want to move forward.


Why is everyone denying the fact that Zimmerman racially profiled this kid, whether he is a racist or not. Who Cares? This maggot shot this kid with a 9 mm handgun, even though he outweighed him by at least 50 lbs.If he had left Martin alone, he would have returned home as he was attempting to do. Even if Martin kicked this maggot's butt, which he certainly DID NOT do; Zimmerman had no right to use a gun in a fist fight that he started by following this boy. So many people in this country are so sick with their racism that it makes me want to throw up. Everyone of them knows that if this boy had been White and Zimmerman was Black, he would been locked up immediately and on his way to prison. Get Real!!!! If Trayvon had been my son and if I could have found Zimmerman, there would be no controversy about him not being arrested.

Tags: ,