If the plot of the NFL’s handling of the Ray Rice domestic violence case got any thicker it would be a solid. The saga of who knew-what-when continued on Thursday, however, with an Associated Press report that a law enforcement official sent the video of Rice punching his then-fiancée in a casino elevator to league security chief Jeffrey Miller at NFL headquarters in April. The league—and commissioner Roger Goodell—have repeatedly denied having seen the tape before it was released by TMZ earlier this month. How hard the league was looking for the footage, however, remains a point of contention.
Miller responded to the AP story in a statement to BuzzFeed News Thursday saying: “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.” Perhaps most significantly, the law enforcement official told the AP he received a voicemail appearing to confirm the video was not only received, but had been watched by at least one person at NFL headquarters.
Here’s more from the AP:
The [law enforcement] 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.”