A Florida judge has thrown out part of George Zimmerman’s libel suit against NBC Universal and held out the prospect that she may throw out the whole thing, reports the Orlando Sentinel. Circuit Judge Debra Nelson tossed the allegations related to one of five broadcasts and said she needs to do more homework before deciding about the others. Zimmerman is suing the media company, alleging that it falsely portrayed him as a racist. He is the Neighborhood Watch volunteer acquitted last year of murdering Trayvon Martin, an unarmed black 17-year-old.
In 2012, Zimmerman accused NBC of “yellow journalism” for the way it edited his call to police the night of the shooting. Editors allegedly cut out key phrases, making it sound as if Zimmerman voluntarily stated that Trayvon was black and that he racially profiled the high school junior. The suit also says NBC falsely reported that during that call, Zimmerman used a racial epithet. NBC says Zimmerman has no valid case. Nelson threw out the claim that NBC and employee Jeff Burnside defamed Zimmerman in a March 19, 2012, broadcast. Zimmerman can’t claim he was wronged by that report, the judge said, because his letter to the network, required before a defamation suit is filed, never identified that specific broadcast, and did not include Burnside as an offending party. She still must rule on claims involving three other broadcasts.