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NFL: Ex-FBI Chief Will Investigate How League Handled Rice Evidence

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell
Ted S. Warren
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell

Update, 11 p.m.:

The NFL is bringing in former FBI Director Robert Mueller to investigate how the league handled evidence in the Ray Rice case, a reporter for the league's website said Wednesday night.

The original story continues below:

The National Football League is denying a report that it received a video from police that shows former Baltimore Ravens star Ray Rice punching his then-fiancee, Janay Palmer.

"We have no knowledge of this," an NFL spokesman told The Wall Street Journal and USA Today. "We are not aware of anyone who possessed or saw the video before it was made public on Monday. We will look into it."

The NFL was reacting to areport from the Associated Press that quoted an unnamed law enforcement official saying he sent the video to an NFL executive three months ago.

The AP reports:

"The person played The Associated Press a 12-second voicemail from an NFL office number on April 9 confirming the video arrived. A female voice expresses thanks and says: 'You're right. It's terrible.'

"The law enforcement official, speaking to the AP on condition of anonymity because of the ongoing investigation, says he had no further communication with any NFL employee and can't confirm anyone watched the video. The person said they were unauthorized to release the video but shared it unsolicited, because they wanted the NFL to have it before deciding on Rice's punishment."

In an interview with CBS Tuesday, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said, "to my knowledge" no one in the NFL had seen the video before it was released by the gossip site TMZ.

The NFL gave Rice a two-game suspension after it saw one video showing Rice dragging Palmer out of the elevator. The TMZ video shows that Rice had punched and knocked out his now-wife inside the elevator a short time earlier.

It was after that second video surfaced that the NFL suspended Rice indefinitely.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit

Eyder Peralta is NPR's East Africa correspondent based in Nairobi, Kenya.
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