NJ official: Rice video was addressed to NFL security chief

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NJ official: Rice video was addressed to NFL security chief
OWINGS MILLS, MD - MAY 23: Running back Ray Rice of the Baltimore Ravens pauses while addressing a news conference with his wife Janay at the Ravens training center on May 23, 2014 in Owings Mills, Maryland. Rice spoke publicly for the first time since facing felony assault charges stemming from a February incident involving Janay at an Atlantic City casino. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Ravens running back Ray Rice and his wife Janay made statements to the news media May 5, 2014, at the Under Armour Performance Center in Owings Mills, Md, regarding his assault charge for knocking her unconscious in a New Jersey casino. On Monday, Sept. 9, 2014, Rice was let go from the Baltimore Ravens after a video surfaced from TMZ showing the incident. (Kenneth K. Lam/Baltimore Sun/MCT via Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - AUGUST 16: Ray Rice #27 of the Baltimore Ravens sits on the bench against the Dallas Cowboys in the first half of their preseason game at AT&T Stadium on August 16, 2014 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - AUGUST 16: Ray Rice #27 of the Baltimore Ravens smiles during warm ups before their game against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium on August 16, 2014 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
OWINGS MILLS, MD - MAY 23: Baltimore Ravens assistant director of public relations Patrick M. Gleason holds the door as running back Ray Rice enter a news conference followed by his wife Janay Rice and Ravens team President Dick Cass at the Ravens training center on May 23, 2014 in Owings Mills, Maryland. Rice spoke publicly for the first time since facing felony assault charges stemming from a February incident involving Janay at an Atlantic City casino. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
SANTA CLARA, CA - JULY 17: NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell sits in the crowd during the the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for Levi Stadium on July 17, 2014 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images)
Maine Governor Paul LePage in his office at the State House in Augusta. LePage, who was beaten by his father when he was young and has made domestic abuse prevention and awareness a priority of his administration, wrote a scathing letter to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell about the controversial two-game suspension levied on Ray Rice after a domestic incident involving his wife at a N.J. hotel.
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BY ROB MAADDI
AP PRO FOOTBALL WRITER

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) -- The video of Ray Rice punching his fiancee 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 Raiders-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 September 8," he said.

Rice Video Sent to Attention of NFL Security


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.

At the NFL, Miller's responsibilities include overseeing investigative programs and services. He is also in charge of event security and game integrity. When players get arrested, the NFL's corps of investigators rarely get involved, leaving that to local law enforcement. The league's security operatives gather court documents and police reports available to the public, but don't ordinarily interview witnesses or gather evidence independently.

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 didn't know that, and intended it to go 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.

He said he didn't know the identity of the woman who left him the voicemail. He said he chose Miller because of his law enforcement background, even though he didn't know him personally.

Rice, a former Pro Bowl running back for the Baltimore Ravens, was arrested in Atlantic City on an assault charge for hitting Janay Palmer in February. A police summons stated that Rice had struck Palmer with his hand, knocking her unconscious. Rice has been accepted into New Jersey's pretrial intervention program, which enabled him to avoid jail time and could result in having the charge expunged from his record.

Initially, Goodell suspended Rice - who has since married Palmer - for two games. After criticism, Goodell announced new stiffer penalties for future domestic violence cases. After video of the punch in the casino elevator was released, the Ravens cut Rice and Goodell suspended him indefinitely.

League and Ravens officials said they requested the video from law enforcement but were denied. ESPN and others have reported that the Ravens had a detailed description of the video shortly after Rice was arrested.

After the AP reported that the video was sent to NFL headquarters, Goodell announced that former FBI Director Robert Mueller would lead an internal investigation. That probe is ongoing, and there is no timetable for its completion.

The law enforcement official said he does not want to speak to NFL investigators, and Mueller, who is now in private practice with a Washington law firm with deep ties to the NFL, has no subpoena power. "I know nothing else about this case," the official said.

Former FBI Chief of Staff Aaron Zebley, who is working with Mueller on the investigation, didn't immediately return a call seeking comment.

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