In another installment of the continuing back-and-forth over who knew what and when about Kareem Hunt’s assault, the Cleveland Division of Police released a statement Tuesday stating that an NFL representative had been given the police report concerning the assault in February, the same month it occurred.
The NFL rep was reportedly given the report through unofficial channels, leaving no record of an official public records request. The police also state that they are conducting an internal review into their response to the Hunt incident.
NEW: In a statement, Cleveland PD says it is beginning an investigation into how the Hunt incident was handled. Also say an officer gave the NFL the police report without following proper procedures. (@kmbc) pic.twitter.com/8YmpdOuW8K
This is yet another wrinkle in a story that has emerged parallel to the former Kansas City Chiefs running back’s fall from grace: Just how hard did the NFL attempt to get to the bottom of Hunt’s assault?
NFL running back Kareem Hunt
NFL running back Kareem Hunt
Kansas City Chiefs running back Kareem Hunt (27) carries the ball during the first half of an NFL football game against the Oakland Raiders in Kansas City, Mo., Sunday, Dec. 10, 2017. (AP Photo/Ed Zurga)
NFL football player Kareem Hunt, of the Kansas City Chiefs arrives at the ESPY Awards at the Microsoft Theater on Wednesday, July 18, 2018, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP)
FILE - In this Oct. 7, 2018 file photo Kansas City Chiefs running back Kareem Hunt (27) celebrates his touchdown against the Jacksonville Jaguars with quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) during the second half of an NFL football game in Kansas City, Mo. The Cincinnati Bengals bring one of the NFL’s worst defenses to Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday, Oct. 21, 2018 to face the Chiefs. They also bring an ailing defense, and that should only make it tougher to slow down Patrick Mahomes and Co. The Bengals are coming off a loss to Pittsburgh while Kansas City lost for the first time last week in New England (AP Photo/Ed Zurga)
Kansas City Chiefs running back Kareem Hunt walks to the practice field during NFL football training camp in St. Joseph, Mo., Tuesday, July 25, 2017. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)
Kansas City Chiefs running back Kareem Hunt (27) celebrates with fans after an NFL football game against the San Francisco 49ers, Sunday, Sept. 23, 2018, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Toledo running back Kareem Hunt reacts after a 32-27 loss to Northern Illinois in an NCAA college football game Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2015, in Toledo, Ohio. (AP Photo/David Richard)
Kansas City Chiefs' Kareem Hunt catches a touchdown pass during the first half of a preseason NFL football game against the Chicago Bears Saturday, Aug. 25, 2018, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Matt Marton)
Kansas City Chiefs running back Kareem Hunt (27) carries the ball during the first half of an NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins in Kansas City, Mo., Sunday, Dec. 24, 2017. (AP Photo/Ed Zurga)
Kareem Hunt during the Kansas City Chiefs at Dallas Cowboys NFL football game on Sunday, Nov. 5, 2017, in Arlington, Texas. (Michael Ainsworth/AP Images for Head & Shoulders)
Toledo head coach Matt Campbell, right, talks with running back Kareem Hunt after a 38-7 win over Kent State in an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 10, 2015, in Toledo, Ohio. (AP Photo/David Richard)
FILE - In this Sept. 24, 2017, file photo, Kansas City Chiefs running back Kareem Hunt, right, runs for a touchdown against the Los Angeles Chargers during the second half of an NFL football game in Carson, Calif. Hunt was the AFC offensive player of the month after he led the league with 401 yards rushing, caught nine passes for 137 yards and reached the end zone five times. The Chiefs face the Washington Redskins this week. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)
Toledo Rockets running back Kareem Hunt (3) runs with the ball in the third quarter of a 49-24 loss to the Missouri Tigers in an NCAA college football game in Toledo, Ohio, Saturday, Sept. 6, 2014. (AP Photo/David Richard)
Kansas City Chiefs running back Kareem Hunt (27) eludes New England Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler (21) as he crosses the goal line for a touchdown after catching a pass from Alex Smith during the second half of an NFL football game, Thursday, Sept. 7, 2017, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
FILE - In this Thursday, Sept. 7, 2017, file photo, Kansas City Chiefs running back Kareem Hunt (27) eludes New England Patriots defensive end Cassius Marsh (55) as he runs for a touchdown after catching a pass from Alex Smith during the second half of an NFL football game in Foxborough, Mass. Of 266 rookies on active rosters in Week 1, 33 started and 13 more played at least half the snaps. Linebackers and running backs led the way with a combined total of 15 guys, including Kareem Hunt, Leonard Fournette and T.J. Watt. (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File)
North squad running back Kareem Hunt of Toledo (33) carries the ball during the second half of the Senior Bowl NCAA college football game, Saturday, Jan. 28, 2017, at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)
Toledo running back Kareem Hunt celebrates his 6-yard rushing touchdown against Northern Illinois during the first quarter of an NCAA college football game Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2015, in Toledo, Ohio. (AP Photo/David Richard)
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NFL did not formally request Kareem Hunt video either
NFL vice president of communications Brian McCarthy told the Star, “We had multiple verbal conversations with Cleveland police officers and requested surveillance video immediately upon learning of the incident in February.
“In addition, NFL representatives also made requests for surveillance video to the hotel property. We also obtained and reviewed the material developed by the police, which included the written reports prepared by the officers who responded to the incident, and later the interviews that were recorded by body cams and the recordings of the 911 calls.”
All of this matters because the NFL seemed to take singular responsibility for investigating and disciplining Hunt when it reportedly told the Chiefs not to pursue the video because the league was conducting the investigation. Hunt also claimed in an interview with ESPN that the NFL had never reached out to him over the incident.
Of course, the NFL apparently made zero attempts to procure the video through official means, which might have something to do with open-records laws allowing news organizations to see records of such requests.