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Unidentified Law Enforcement Officer Says He Sent NFL Copy of Ray Rice Knockout Video; TMZ vs NFL

Wed September 10 2014 6:27 pm
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A law enforcement official says he sent a video of Ray Rice punching his then-fiancee to an NFL executive five months ago, while league executives have insisted they didn’t see the violent images until they were published this week.

A law enforcement official, who did not want to be identified, sent a video that shows former Baltimore Ravens Running Back Ray Rice punching his then-fiance (now wife) Janay Palmer and knocking her unconscious. That video contained the same images that

A voice mail from the NFL office number confirmed that the video arrived on April 9, 2014, but it is not known if the video was viewed. Roger Goodell claims he didn’t see the video until it was published this past week.

On February 15, 2014, Rice was with his fiancée Janay Palmer when he arrested and charged with assault after a physical altercation at Revel Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Celebrity news website TMZ published a video of Rice dragging Palmer’s body out of an elevator, but the video did not show him knocking her out.

On March 27, 2014, a grand jury indicted Rice on third-degree aggravated assault, with a possible jail sentence of three to five years and a fine of up to $15,000. The following day Ray Rice and Janay Palmer were married. Rice was suspended for the first two games of the 2014 NFL season on July 25, 2014, but criminal charges were dropped when Rice agreed to undergo court-supervised counseling.

On Monday, September 8, 2014, TMZ released a second video from an elevator security camera showing Rice punching Palmer and knocking her unconscious before she was dragged out of the elevator. The Baltimore Ravens then terminated Rice’s contract, and NFL Commissioner Goodell announced that Rice had been suspended from the NFL indefinitely.

Goodell has been criticized for not making an effort to get the video inside the elevator on his own. Then today came news that the unidentified law enforcement officer already sent the video with the interior elevator content and knockout punch on April 9, 2014. TMZ claims that casino employees told them that if the NFL would have requested the video they would have gladly provided it, but no one asked.

“I don’t know how TMZ or any other website gets their info. We are particularly reliant on law enforcement, that’s the most reliable, the most credible. We don’t seek to get that information from sources who are not credible.”

— Roger Goodell

TMZ’s Managing Editor Harvey Levin was criticizing Goodell today because TMZ’s copy of the tape is directly from the security video, so it couldn’t be any less reliable than the copy that the police possess. Levin explained the reason for the delay of the release of the second video was because the casino business closed and employees then decided the video needed to be released — they wanted to do the right thing.

TMZ Founder, Executive Producer, and Managing Editor Harvey Levin tells CNN’s Jake Tapper how his website got the Ray Rice video, why the NFL didn’t see it and if TMZ has disrupted the mainstream media.

Goodell has imposed suspensions on several players, including Chicago Bears Defensive Tackle Terry “Tank” Johnson, who was suspended for the first eight games of the 2007 season for conduct involving unlicensed weapons at his home in Lake County north of Chicago.

Goodell now faces suspicion that he might have covered up the severity of the domestic abuse incident, or he just failed to investigate the case in his usual rigorous manner — as he is known to lead and micromanage other issues in the NFL. Now multiple news sources are scrutinizing the NFL’s management of domestic abuse incidents as complicated and inadequate.

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