A video of the knockout blow that NFL star Ray Rice delivered to his then-fiancée during a February fight in an Atlantic City elevator was leaked to the public Monday. The Baltimore Ravens running back received a two-game suspension for his role in the incident.
Previous surveillance footage showed Rice as he dragged Janay Palmer’s unconscious body out of an elevator at the Revel Casino Hotel, without a definitive indication of what occurred. The new elevator video, obtained by TMZ, shows that a scuffle between the two led Rice to punch Palmer in the head, knocking her out. Then, Rice drags her motionless body off the elevator.
At the time, both Rice, 27, and Palmer, 26, were arrested and charged with domestic assault. Rice pleaded not guilty to a charge of third-degree aggravated assault and avoided trial by agreeing to participate in an intervention program, ESPN reported. A month after the incident, Rice and Palmer were married.
After reviewing the case, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in July that Rice would be suspended without pay for the first two games of the 2014 season and fined an additional game check. “I made the biggest mistake of my life,” Rice said in his first public comments after the suspension. “I want to own it … My actions that night were totally inexcusable. That’s not who I am as a man.”
Goodell’s ruling generated outrage among critics who questioned whether two games was a sufficient punishment for Rice’s actions in relation to harsher penalties levied by the NFL for in-game violence and marijuana use. In response, the commissioner said in August that the league would overhaul its disciplinary policy regarding domestic violence; any NFL employee found guilty of such action would receive a six-game suspension for the first offense and an indefinite ban for the second offense.