NBC News fired the producer after an internal investigation into an edited call that aired on the “Today” show
NBC News has fired a producer responsible for a segment on the “Today" show that featured an edited version of a 911 call George Zimmerman made to the police the night he shot Trayvon Martin, an individual with knowledge of the situation told TheWrap.
The individual said that the employee had been fired, but declined to disclose the identity of the producer. A spokeswoman for NBC News declined to comment.
"Today" aired the segment on March 27 with an edited version of Zimmerman’s call that could suggest Zimmerman — a neighborhood watch member in his Florida neighborhood – acted out of racial prejudice.
"'This guy looks like he's up to no good … he looks black," the edited version of the tape presented Zimmerman as saying.
However, the full transcript of the 911 calls reveals a crucial bit of excised dialogue between Zimmerman and the police dispatcher.
"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," Zimmerman said during the 911 call, according to the transcript.
The officer speaking to Zimmerman then asked, "OK, and this guy — is he black, white or Hispanic?"
To which Zimmerman responded, "He looks black."
Since news of the shooting became widespread in March, it has provoked strong reactions in the media and among the public. Some have suggested that Zimmerman might have acted partially out of racism when he shot Martin, who is black.
NBC News launched an internal investigation of the edited tape. It resulted in the producer’s dismissal.
"During our investigation it became evident that there was an error made in the production process that we deeply regret," the network said in a statement provided to TheWrap at the time. "We will be taking the necessary steps to prevent this from happening in the future and apologize to our viewers."
The New York Times first reported the news of the fired producer.