NBC News regrets editing of Trayvon shooting call

Tue Apr 3, 2012 6:07pm EDT

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(Reuters) - NBC News apologized on Tuesday for the way it edited a broadcast of a conversation between George Zimmerman and a police dispatcher before teenager Trayvon Martin was killed by Zimmerman.

Last week Fox News did a report in which it presented "before" and "after" versions of the call. NBC had broadcast the edited exchange on its flagship "Today" morning show.

NBC News launched an investigation after the Fox report.

"During our investigation it became evident that there was an error made in the production process that we deeply regret," NBC News representative Lauren Kapp said in a statement on Tuesday, in response to a query by Reuters. "We will be taking the necessary steps to prevent this from happening in the future and apologize to our viewers."

The February 26 shooting death of 17-year-old Martin by Zimmerman, 28, a neighborhood watch captain who said he acted in self-defense, has drawn international attention. The incident occurred in Sanford, Florida.

The Fox News report can be viewed on the website of the News Corp unit.

The "Today" show's segment ran as:

"Zimmerman: This guy looks like he's up to no good. He looks black."

The full conversation ran as:

"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 News is owned by NBC Universal, a unit of Comcast Corp.

(Reporting By Yinka Adegoke; Editing by Richard Chang)

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