The NFL remains adamant that it did not see the inside-the-elevator video of Ray Rice and his wife at Revel Hotel and Casino.
In a memo issued to each of the NFL's owners, Goodell outlines the NFL's case as to why it was unable to see the video before it published on TMZ Monday morning.
From the memo:
"First, we did not see video of what took place inside the elevator until it was publicly released on Monday. When the new video evidence became available, we acted promptly and imposed an indefinite suspension on Mr. Rice.
"Second, on multiple occasions, we asked the proper law enforcement authorities to share with us all relevant information, including any video of the incident. Those requests were made to different law enforcement entities, including the New Jersey State Police, the Atlantic City Police Department, the Atlantic County Police Department and the Atlantic County Solicitor’s Office. The requests were first made in February following the incident, and were again made following Mr. Rice’s entry into the pre-trial diversion program. None of the law enforcement entities we approached was permitted to provide any video or other investigatory material to us. As is customary in disciplinary cases, the suspension imposed on Mr. Rice in July was based on the information available to us at that time."
"Our understanding of New Jersey law is that casino security is regulated by the Division of Gaming Enforcement in the State Attorney General’s office. Once a criminal investigation begins, law enforcement authorities do not share investigatory material (such as the videos here) with private parties such as the NFL. In addition, the state’s Open Public Records Act excludes material that is generated in the context of an active law enforcement proceeding. The law enforcement agencies did nothing wrong here; they simply followed their customary procedures. As the New Jersey Attorney General’s office said yesterday, "It would have been illegal for law enforcement to provide [the] Rice video to [the] NFL."
"We did not ask the Atlantic City casino directly for the video. Again, our understanding of New Jersey law is that the casino is prohibited from turning over material to a third party during a law enforcement proceeding, and that doing so would have subjected individuals to prosecution for interference with a criminal investigation. Moreover, our longstanding policy in matters like this – where there is a criminal investigation being directed by law enforcement and prosecutors – is to cooperate with law enforcement and take no action to interfere with the criminal justice system. In addition, in the context of an ongoing criminal investigation, information obtained outside of law enforcement that has not been tested by prosecutors or by the court system is not necessarily a reliable basis for imposing league discipline.
To read the full memo, visit the NFL's website.
On Tuesday morning, TMZ stated a case that the NFL chose to ignore the video and never went to the casino itself to see if it could view it. Now the NFL is claiming it didn't think it could. That seems like a convenient excuse.
Opinions will differ widely on this, so we'll leave it at that.