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The case of Trayvon Martin, a black teenager killed by a neighborhood watch volunteer in Sanford, Florida, has sparked a fierce debate across the United States on race and justice. Since the release of the 911 call, attention to the case has skyrocketed. Trayvon's death, which President Obama called a "national tragedy," has brought thousands into the streets to rally for George Zimmerman's arrest. It has generated mass interest across social networking sites and garnered reactions from top media and political personalities. It is also transforming the hoodie into a modern civil rights icon.
NBC News has issued an apology for broadcasting a misleadingly edited version of George Zimmerman's call to 911 on the night he shot Trayvon Martin.
NBC News says it "deeply regrets" airing an edited version of the 911 call made by George Zimmerman on the night he shot Trayvon Martin.
NBC's Today show recently played a recording of the conversation in which one of the dispatcher's questions had been cut out, thereby changing the context of Zimmerman's mention of Martin's race.
In a statement cited by the Washington Post, the network said the incident was due to "an error made in the production process that we deeply regret."
According to Fox News, which drew attention to the edit last week with a "before" and "after" version of the call, the audio aired on NBC went as follows:
Zimmerman: "This guy looks like he's up to no good ... He looks black."
However, the original recording ran:
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 black, white or Hispanic?"
Zimmerman: "He looks black."
NBC was heavily criticized for the edit, which commentators said had made Zimmerman sound racist.
"We will be taking the necessary steps to prevent this from happening in the future and apologize to our viewers," the network said.
Questioned by Reuters, an NBC spokeswoman declined to say whether any further action would be taken. The producer responsible would not be named, she added.
The Post's Eric Wemple questioned why NBC had given so few details as to how the mistake happened, and suggested the network owed George Zimmerman a direct apology.
"In light of all that's happened," Wemple wrote, "Zimmerman may be a tough person for a news network to apologize to, but that's just the point: apologies are hard."
See GlobalPost's complete coverage of the Trayvon Martin case.
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