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

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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.


@allsaints45 "The Comedy Team", as you labeled them, are dedicated to setting fires. They will have a new one to set soon enough after this one. I'm thinking there could be in fact a behind-the-scenes plan to stir up racial unrest in the coming months. I hope I'm wrong! Yet, it's quite possible we might see a re-run of Chicago in 1968 before the 'dog days of August' arrive.


Hmmm, post got cut off ... Depending on who did what to whom first, second, whatever ... lethal force (self defense) can in fact justified. Real life isn't Hollywood, and punches / blows to the head can EASILY result in serious injuries, if not death. There was case in Washington state a few years ago where a man in his late 60s was savagely attacked by a 20 something meth addict. The 20 year old had nothing more than his bare hands, but the law recognizes that bare hands can be deadly. The 60 year old, just before blacking out, drew a .357 Magnum (which he was licensed to carry) and shot the attacker one or two times. Not sure if the perp lived or died, but the shooting was later ruled to be justified. Point being we really don't know what happened and in what order. I sure wish everyone would sit back and relax, and just wait for all the facts to come out. It may take time, but what else are you going to do?




I agree "race" has nothing to with this. However, the "community" made darned sure it became a racial issue! So we find ourselves here. Again, the investigation isn't finished and innuendos are being flung about and accusation as well. This could have been avoided. In the end I suspect it will do nothing to improve the racial divide in this country. This is being used as a means to deepen the racial prejudice in this country. The black community is using this as a means of doing so. That is wrong. I don't believe if Martin Luther King were alive today he would be advising his people to have hoodie marches, etc. I believe he would tell them to let the criminal justice system work. And he sure wouldn't approve of what NBC did either! He was a man of principle and moral values...REAL ones!


Race shouldnt even be an issue in this. I dont think George Zimmerman was racist, or that the killing was race motivated. I think he was a cocky asshole who let a having a little bit of authority and gun get to his head. He way overstepped his boundries. Being a neighborhood watch captain does not give him the authority of a cop, if 911 told him to leave the kid alone, than thats what he should have done as opposed to just abusing the little bit of authority he did have to harrass and than kill someone.


Zimmerman's story is while he was the ground he was being punched in the face and his head was being slammed into the concrete causing him to scream for help and which in turn left him no choice but to shoot Martin to save his own life, but if you listen to that particular 911 call with the screaming, the screams are so strong and consistent that there is no way that the person screaming was being punched in the face and head being slammed into ground. On top of that the two voice specialist are pretty certain that Zimmerman was not the one screaming. So he is definitely lying to cover up his dumb decisions that night. And for the so-called witness "john", he can very well be a friend or associate of Zimmermans, that is his neighborhood. STOP TRYING TO START A RACE WAR


This is distraction from the main issues: 1) Racial profiling.
2) "Stand your ground law" which is a tool that can be used to conceal murder.
3) A young unarmed teenager talking to his girlfriend and heading home was killed.


The issue here is the irresponsible and dishonesty of NBC News! Yes, a young man is dead....and this news media outlet purposely edited tapes to twist public opinion! It is wrong and unethical despite the tragedy at hand!


@Robert King. Well yes, but that's not the point of this story. The actual incident is tragic. But this story is about NBC and their supposed "mistake". It's obvious to anyone with a brain that they made no mistake. The editing was fully intentional to make the impact that it had. But they will never ever admit that, and why would they. The case itself is a tragedy and in the process of being found out and the teenager is indeed dead. But this story is about NBC's abhorrent "reporting" of it which pretty much did absolutely no favors to anyone, no matter how the actual case turns out.


Here are the facts a grown man shot and killed an unarmed teenager. A couple lost their son unnecessarily and somehow the perpetrator is the victim and the victim is to blame for being stalked and subsequently gunned down. This man murdered a child and no one, not him nor his family has shown an ounce of remorse for the loss of life.

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