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Editing of tape in Trayvon slaying leads to firing of NBC producer

NBC News has fired a producer for editing a recording of George Zimmerman's call to police the night he fatally shot Trayvon Martin, a person with direct knowledge of the matter said Saturday.

The person was not authorized to talk about the situation publicly and spoke on the condition of anonymity. The identity of the producer was not disclosed.

An NBC spokeswoman declined to comment.

The producer's dismissal followed an internal investigation that led to NBC apologizing for having aired the misleading audio.

NBC's "Today" show first aired the edited version of Zimmerman's call on March 27. The recording viewers heard was trimmed to suggest that Zimmerman volunteered to police, with no prompting, that Trayvon was black: "This guy looks like he's up to no good. He looks black."

But the portion of the tape that was deleted 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, Trayvon, 17, was killed by Zimmerman, 28, a neighborhood watch volunteer in Sanford, Fla. Though Trayvon was unarmed, Zimmerman told police he fired in self-defense after Trayvon attacked him.

Questions subsequently have arisen over whether Zimmerman was racially profiling the teen, a theory the edited version of the tape seemed to support.

On Tuesday, NBC said its investigation turned up "an error made in the production process that we deeply regret." It promised that "necessary steps" would be taken "to prevent this from happening in the future" and apologized to viewers.

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