(SportsNetwork.com) – A law enforcement official says he sent a video of Ray
Rice punching his fiancee in the face to the NFL’s chief security officer in
April, according to a report.
The unnamed official who told The Associated Press he addressed the video to
Jeffrey Miller says he is unsure if Miller ever saw it.
He is the same official who told the AP earlier this month that he had sent a
copy of the video to the league offices and received confirmation it arrived
in the form of a 12-second voicemail from an unidentified woman.
The official, who previously asked the AP not to name Miller, said no one from
the NFL asked him for the video taken inside an Atlantic City casino elevator.
Miller denied in a statement to the AP that he ever received the video and
echoed NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s repeated declarations that no one in
the league office had viewed it until TMZ posted it online Sept. 8, which led
to the Baltimore Ravens cutting Rice and the NFL suspending him indefinitely.
The official chose to send the tape to Miller because of his background as the
Pennsylvania State Police commissioner, the AP said.
The AP’s initial report on Sept. 10 led to the NFL hiring former FBI Director
Robert Mueller to conduct an independent investigation of the league over its
handling of the case, which is still ongoing.
Goodell has said the NFL asked law enforcement agencies in New Jersey for the
tape but never received it. He said the league did not ask the Revel Casino
Hotel for the tape because doing so would have put a would-be leaker in legal
trouble, a claim that has since been disputed.
In a news conference last Friday, Goodell said “the same mistakes can never be
repeated” and reiterated that he “got it wrong” when he initially suspended
Rice, a former Pro Bowl running back, two games over the incident.
Rice avoided jail time over the February incident by entering into a pretrial
diversion program and could have his charges expunged after a year. He and the
woman, Janay Palmer, have since married and she has publicly defended him.
Goodell pledged last week — in his first public comments over the spate of
abuse cases that have rocked the league — that the NFL would implement a new
player-conduct policy prior to this season’s Super Bowl.
He had already outlined a revamped domestic-violence policy in a memo to team
owners last month, calling for a six-week suspension for a first offense and a
lifetime ban for a second one.
Questions over who saw what, and when they saw it, have plagued both the NFL
and the Ravens as their handling of the case comes under increased scrutiny.
A recent ESPN report claimed the Ravens at least had a description of what the
video showed, which is the couple arguing before they enter the elevator and
Rice striking Palmer in the face, causing her to hit her head on a railing and
apparently knocking her unconscious.
An earlier video posted online by TMZ showed Rice dragging Palmer out of the
elevator and is the only visual of the incident the NFL says it saw before the
running back was initially suspended.