WASHINGTON, D.C. (WJZ) — New developments in the Ray Rice scandal: who knew what and when. The NFL releases the findings of its own independent investigation.
Investigator Mike Hellgren has more on the new report that details the league’s missteps.
An NFL ordered independent investigation finds the league should have done more to investigate former Baltimore Raven Ray Rice beating the woman he would later marry inside a casino elevator.
But there is no evidence anyone in the organization was given video of the incident and tried to cover it up before the TMZ release.
“We found no evidence that anyone at the NFL had or saw the in-elevator video before it was publicly shown,” Mueller said in the report. “We also found no evidence that a woman at the NFL acknowledged receipt of that video in a voicemail message on April 9, 2014.”
“We asked for video, but we were never granted that opportunity,” said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.
Independent investigators looked into a bombshell Associated Press report that a law enforcement source gave a league executive the video, but those investigators could never access the source.
“This is a story we were working on for days and it is not something we would go with unless we were rock solid sure,” said Rob Maaddi, AP reporter.
The report recommends better training for NFL investigators and says the league needs to develop a special unit for domestic violence cases.
Some question whether the investigation is truly independent, noting the man in charge, former FBI director Robert Mueller, negotiated a multi-million dollar TV deal for the NFL and is a partner at Wilmerhale, the former longtime firm of Ravens president Dick Cass.
But Mueller counters he did an exhaustive search of who knew what when, even looking at Commissioner Goodell’s personal phone and computer.
His team found the league never contacted the casino and never followed up with the Ravens.
“We concluded there was substantial information about the incident – even without the in-elevator video – indicating the need for a more thorough investigation,’ Mueller concluded. “The NFL should have done more with the information it had, and should have taken additional steps to obtain all available information about the February 15 incident.”
“It would have been illegal for the casino to give it to us, so we stopped,” Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti said.
In a new statement, the presidents of the New York Giants and Pittsburgh Steelers, who oversaw Mueller, acknowledged mistakes, but also expressed confidence in Goodell’s continuing leadership.
“As owners, we are the first to agree that the NFL did not have a sufficient policy in place to deal with players or other personnel accused of domestic violence,” the statement read in part. “… We were slow to react, and in the case of Ray Rice, the original punishment was insufficient. In addition, the steps taken by the NFL to investigate this matter were inadequate. Since then, a new policy concerning domestic violence and other rules for conduct violations have been put into place. We believe these new policies are tough and appropriate.”
The Ravens released a statement, saying:
“We welcome completion of the ‘Mueller Report,’ and we look forward to cooperating with the League on any new policies resulting from this report.
“More than anything, the report reminds us all of the gravity of the consequences of intimate partner abuse and the lessons we must all learn. We have taken steps to educate ourselves, and others, about this important issue, and will continue to do so.”
Rice was initially suspended for two games, but then indefinitely suspended from the NFL and released by the Ravens after the elevator video was made public.
He appealed the suspension and it was lifted on Nov. 28.
The full report can be viewed here: RobertMuellerReport.com.
Baltimore Ravens News:
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