On Thursday, a law enforcement official confirmed the video of former Baltimore Raven Ray Rice punching his then-fiancée in an Atlantic City hotel elevator was sent to the National Football League (NFL) in April.
Despite NFL claims that no one in the league saw the video until TMZ released it in early September, the video was sent to the attention of league security chief Jeffrey Miller.
Miller, however, is denying the tape was ever sent to him.
The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to release details of the case, said he doesn’t know if Miller ever saw the DVD or opened the package. His only communication with the NFL was a 12-second voicemail on April 9 from league offices confirming receipt of the package, in which a woman says, “You’re right. It’s terrible.”
The official told the AP two weeks ago that he sent the video to the NFL, but asked the AP not to report that he had addressed the package to Miller. He eliminated that restriction Thursday.
“Since the NFLPA and NFL have launched separate investigations into the league and the Ravens’ handling of Ray Rice’s case, I want to make a few things clear. No one from the NFL ever asked me for the inside-elevator video,” the official said Thursday. “I mailed it anonymously to Jeff Miller because he’s their head of security. I attached a note saying: ‘Ray Rice elevator video. You have to see it. It’s terrible.’ I provided a number for a disposable cellphone and asked for confirmation that it was received. I knew there was a possibility Mr. Miller may not get the video, but I hoped it would land in the right hands.”
It remains unclear what happened to the video once it arrived at league offices. There are two NFL executives named Jeffrey Miller, but the law enforcement official didn’t know that, and intended it to go to the chief of security. NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said the other Jeffrey Miller — who is involved in lobbying for the league — did not report receiving the video.
Miller responded to the claim through an NFL spokesperson:
“I unequivocally deny that I received at any time a copy of the video, and I had not watched it until it was made public on September 8,” he said.
The official who sent the tape said he did so to make sure the NFL had it before deciding Rice’s punishment. Rice was eventually slapped on the wrist and given a two-game suspension. When TMZ released the tape of the elevator violence months later, the Ravens decided to terminate the running back’s contract.
“My intention wasn’t to bring down Commissioner Goodell or anyone else at the NFL,” he said.
FBI Director Robert Mueller is leading an internal investigation. It is unclear when the findings will be released.
SOURCE: USA Today | VIDEO SOURCE: News Inc.