By Michael Martinez, CNN
(CNN) — George Zimmerman, charged in the shooting death of a 17-year-old Florida boy, sued NBC Universal on Thursday for using “the oldest form of yellow journalism” by editing an audio tape of his 911 call to make him sound racist, the lawsuit said.
Zimmerman is seeking “damages in excess of the jurisdictional limit” in Seminole County Circuit Court in Florida, where the lawsuit is filed.
Zimmerman, who is Hispanic and is charged with second-degree murder, is accused of fatally shooting Trayvon Martin, who was African-American, in an incident last February that has provoked national controversy.
Zimmerman says he shot Martin in self-defense. Attorneys for Martin’s family say the teen was shot and killed “in cold blood.”
“NBC saw the death of Trayvon Martin not as a tragedy but as an opportunity to increase ratings, and so set about to create the myth that George Zimmerman was a racist and predatory villain,” the lawsuit said.
“Because of NBC’s deceptive and exploitative manipulations, the public wrongly believes that Zimmerman ‘us(ed) a racial epithet’ while describing Martin during the call to the dispatcher on that fateful night,” the suit said.
NBC Universal couldn’t be reached immediately for comment.