Judge rules against George Zimmerman in NBC lawsuit

Zimmerman claimed defamation in edited 911 call

SANFORD, Fla. - A judge on Monday ruled against George Zimmerman in a defamation lawsuit he filed against NBC Universal over edited 911 calls made after Trayvon Martin was shot and killed in 2012.

[READ:  Judge's ruling in defamation lawsuit]

In the ruling, Judge Debra S. Nelson said, "There are no genuine issues of material fact upon which a reasonable jury could find that the Defendants acted with actual malice."  Nelson said the malice standard was appropriate because Zimmerman is a public figure.

In a hearing earlier this month, Zimmerman's attorney said NBC manipulated the call to make it seem like Zimmerman was chasing Trayvon Martin because of the color of Martin's skin.

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."

In the reports that aired on NBC, the question from the dispatcher was removed.

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Zimmerman's attorney called the 911 reports "reckless," adding that NBC fired at least two employees after the story came to light.

The edited calls aired four times in March 2012, prompting the lawsuit by Zimmerman. 

Zimmerman also accused NBC of defaming him in a separate broadcast, claiming he used a racial slur during his 911 call.

It's not known if Zimmerman will appeal Nelson's summary judgment.

Zimmerman, a former neighborhood watch leader, was acquitted of murder last year in Martin's death.

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