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In an apparent contradiction to statements made by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, a law enforcement official claims the full length tape showing Ray Rice beat Janay Palmer in an elevator was sent straight to the NFL, though it was not solicited from him directly. The tape was sent on a DVD to one particular undisclosed NFL official, with the officials contact information attached. Rice was first suspended when a shorter tape showing him dragging Palmer from an elevator was released, and was then terminated from the Baltimore Ravens when the longer tape surfaced.

The official had a voicemail recording from the NFL office on April 9th confirming they received the tape. The voicemail was played for an Associated Press reporter, and a female voice states, "You're right. It's terrible."

The law enforcement official, who offered this information anonymously, told the AP the NFL did not contact him again after the voicemail. This means it would be impossible to confirm if Goodell or any other high level NFL officials involved in the two game suspension decision personally saw the video.

This morning, Goodell said the NFL did not receive the tape and had requested it from the police. He told CBS, "No one in the NFL, to my knowledge, and I had been asked that same question and the answer to that is no. We were not granted that. We were told that was not something we would have access to. On multiple occasions, we asked for it. And on multiple occasions we were told no...And I think it's a fact because the criminal justice system and law enforcement were following the laws and doing what they needed to do to make sure that they followed the criminal activity...We are particularly reliant on law enforcement."

There has been a much speculation as to whether the NFL had access to the tape before they made the two game suspension decision, as sources also indicated to Sports Illustrated's Peter King that Goodell could have seen the tape. NFL spokesperson Brian McCarthy had this to say of the law enforcement official's claim, "We have no knowledge of this. We are not aware of anyone in our office who possessed or saw the video before it was made public on Monday. We will look into it."

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.

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