ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — The video of Ray Rice punching then-fiancée Janay Palmer inside a casino elevator was sent to NFL headquarters to the attention of league security chief Jeffrey Miller in April, a law enforcement official says.
The NFL has repeatedly said no one with the league saw the violent images until TMZ Sports released the video earlier this month. Miller said Thursday through an NFL spokesman that he never received the video.
The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to release details of the case, said he doesn’t know if Miller ever saw the DVD or opened the package. His only communication with the NFL was a 12-second voicemail on April 9 from league offices confirming receipt of the package, in which a woman says, “You’re right. It’s terrible.”
The official told the AP two weeks ago that he sent the video to the NFL, but asked the AP not to report that he had addressed the package to Miller. He eliminated that restriction Thursday.
“Since the NFLPA and NFL have launched separate investigations into the league and the Ravens’ handling of Ray Rice’s case, I want to make a few things clear. No one from the NFL ever asked me for the inside-elevator video,” the official said Thursday.
“I mailed it anonymously to Jeff Miller because he’s their head of security. I attached a note saying: ‘Ray Rice elevator video. You have to see it. It’s terrible.’ I provided a number for a disposable cellphone and asked for confirmation that it was received. I knew there was a possibility Mr. Miller may not get the video, but I hoped it would land in the right hands.”
Miller, in London preparing for the Oakland Raiders-Miami Dolphins game Sunday, issued a statement to the AP Thursday night through an NFL spokesman.
“I unequivocally deny that I received at any time a copy of the video, and I had not watched it until it was made public on Sept. 8,” he said.
Miller joined the league in 2008 as director of strategic security and was promoted to chief security officer in April 2011. Before joining the NFL, Miller spent nearly six years as the commissioner of the Pennsylvania State Police. He worked for the state police for 24 years.
It remains unclear what happened to the video once it arrived at league offices. There are two NFL executives named Jeffrey Miller, but the law enforcement official insisted the video was addressed to the chief of security. The official said he wanted to make sure the NFL had the video before deciding on Rice’s punishment.
“My intention wasn’t to bring down Commissioner Goodell or anyone else at the NFL,” he said.