Circuit Judge Debra S. Nelson ruled in favor of NBC Universal, throwing out Zimmerman’s suit accusing NBCU of trying to portray him as a racist by falsely editing 911 audio tapes he made to police the night Travyon Martin was killed.
“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,” the Judge wrote in her ruling.
“NBC News is gratified by the court’s dismissal of this lawsuit, which we have always believed to be without merit,” an NBC News spokesperson said in a statement.
The edited tape in question aired on “Today” and featured Zimmerman saying, “This guy looks like he’s up to no good. He looks black.” The actual unedited version of the 911 call Zimmerman placed went as follows:
Zimmerman: 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.
Dispatcher: OK, and this guy — is he white, black, or Hispanic?
Zimmerman: He looks black.