New Video Surfaces of Ray Rice Hitting His Fiancée, but NFL Claims They Never Saw It
The violence shown in this new tape is certainly worthy of a harsher punishment than a two-game suspension, though it is unclear if the NFL and Ravens officials had access to this tape before today.
Update, 2:26 p.m.: The Baltimore Ravens have terminated running back Ray Rice.
The #Ravens have terminated RB Ray Rice's contract this afternoon.— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) September 8, 2014
Earlier this year, Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice was suspended for two games after knocking Janay Palmer (his then fiancée, and now wife) unconscious. The extremely minor punishment he received, and the outrage it generated, led the NFL to rewrite their rules on suspending players found guilty of domestic violence. Now, a first offense for domestic violence is a six-game suspension and the second is ban from the league.
Much of the public has previously seen a security camera video, leaked shortly after the incident took place, showing an unconscious Palmer being violently dragged by Rice from an elevator at a casino in Atlantic City. Today, a new video has surfaced, this one taken from inside the elevator. TMZ obtained the video, which shows Rice and Palmer in the elevator together, before she was dragged out. In the elevator, Rice punches Palmer, knocking her head against the rail with a great deal of force, and she falls to the ground.
The violence shown in this new tape is certainly worthy of a harsher punishment than a two-game suspension, though it is unclear if the NFL and Ravens officials had access to this portion of the tape before today. On Monday, the NFL offered this statement to The Baltimore Sun, "We requested from law enforcement any and all information about the incident, including the video from inside the elevator. That video was not made available to us. And no one in our office has seen it until today." However, Sports Illustrated 's Peter King wrote on July 29, "There is one other thing I did not write or refer to, and that is the other videotape the NFL and some Ravens officials have seen, from the security camera inside the elevator at the time of the physical altercation between Rice and his fiancée." This would indicate that some officials had seen this full tape as it was released by TMZ, but in his weekly Monday column published today, King appears to be changing his story to fit the NFL's version of events.
To make the situation even murkier, even if officials did not see the tape, it seems Rice described the incident to NFL officials exactly as it appears in that video — including the extremely violent punch which knows down Palmer. That means they had the same amount of information about the abuse when they made the two-game suspension decision.
The Ravens have not yet formally commented on this situation.