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NBC News apologizes for editing tape of 911 call

By Frazier Moore
AP Television Writer / April 3, 2012
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NEW YORK—NBC News has admitted it erred and has apologized for editing a recording of George Zimmerman's call to police the night he shot Trayvon Martin.

In a news report last week, NBC's "Today" show aired its edited version of Zimmerman's call. The recording viewers heard was trimmed to suggest that Zimmerman volunteered to police, with no prompting, that Martin was black. But the portion of the tape that was cut out had the 911 dispatcher asking Zimmerman if the person who had raised his suspicion was "black, white or Hispanic," to which Zimmerman responded, "He looks black."

Later that night of Feb. 26, the 17-year-old Martin was fatally shot by Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer in Sanford, Fla. Though Martin was unarmed, Zimmerman told police he fired in self-defense after Martin attacked him.

Questions have arisen over whether Zimmerman had been racially profiling the youth, a theory the edited version of the tape seemed to support.

In a statement on Tuesday, NBC said its investigation turned up "an error made in the production process that we deeply regret." It provided no details.

The network promised "necessary steps" would be taken "to prevent this from happening in the future," and apologized to viewers.

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