A “law enforcement official” speaking to the Associated Press on the condition of anonymity says he sent video footage of Ray Rice punching his then-fiancée to the NFL three months ago—directly contradicting NFL comissioner Roger Goodell’s claim that no NFL officials had obtained the footage before this Monday because law enforcement would not provide it. The source also played a voicemail for the Associated Press in which a woman using an NFL office number confirms receipt of the footage and calls it “terrible.”
Here is an excerpt from a letter Roger Goodell sent to NFL team officials today:
First, we did not see video of what took place inside the elevator until it was publicly released on Monday. When the new video evidence became available, we acted promptly and imposed an indefinite suspension on Mr. Rice.
Second, on multiple occasions, we asked the proper law enforcement authorities to share with us all relevant information, including any video of the incident. Those requests were made to different law enforcement entities, including the New Jersey State Police, the Atlantic City Police Department, the Atlantic County Police Department and the Atlantic County Solicitor’s Office. The requests were first made in February following the incident, and were again made following Mr. Rice’s entry into the pre-trial diversion program. None of the law enforcement entities we approached was permitted to provide any video or other investigatory material to us.
ESPN’s Jane McManus wrote Monday that two league officials told her at the time that Rice’s two-game suspension was announced that the NFL “had access to all the evidence that the prosecutors did.” ESPN’s Chris Mortensen, citing anonymous sources, reported on the contents of the elevator video in May, though he has not said whether his sources for that story were league officials.
ABC, meanwhile, is reporting that officials at the Revel casino—where the incident took place—told the Baltimore Ravens organization that it could request the full tape from Ray Rice’s lawyer, but that neither the Ravens nor the NFL league office ever made that request.
The NFL has responded to the AP’s story by restating its claim that no officials saw or possessed the tape before this Monday.