Horrific Footage Of Ray Rice Punching Then-Fiancée Released

Horrific Footage Of Ray Rice Punching Fiancée Leaks

New video released by TMZ on Monday shows Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice knocking his then-fiancée out cold with a single punch.

The footage, captured in February in the elevator of the Revel Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City, shows Rice knock Janay Palmer off her feet with a blow to the head. Both Rice and Palmer were arrested on simple assault charges following the altercation.

The NFL issued a statement claiming that the league hadn't seen the video until it was leaked on Monday, per Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network. In the statement, the league says it had asked law enforcement for all information about the incident, but the video was not made available. However, an employee of the hotel told TMZ that the NFL had seen the video before suspending Rice. Peter King of Sports Illustrated wrote in July that the NFL and Ravens officials have seen video from inside the elevator when the incident took place. Jane McManus of ESPNNewYork.com tweeted on Monday that she was told the NFL saw the "same evidence the police did."

Video of Rice dragging Palmer's unconscious body out of the elevator leaked soon after the incident and elicited calls for an appropriate NFL response. But after the NFL suspended Rice for only two regular-season games, the league faced an immediate negative backlash for what was seen as a lenient punishment when compared to other player suspensions for offenses such as smoking marijuana.

Rice pleaded not guilty to assault charges back in May and was later allowed to enter a pretrial intervention program to avoid prosecution.

In late August, the NFL announced stricter domestic violence penalties, including a six-game ban for a first offense. In a letter to team owners, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell admitted that he bungled the Rice punishment.

"My disciplinary decision led the public to question our sincerity, our commitment, and whether we understood the toll that domestic violence inflicts on so many families," he wrote. "I take responsibility both for the decision and for ensuring that our actions in the future properly reflect our values. I didn't get it right. Simply put, we have to do better. And we will."

UPDATE: The Baltimore Ravens have cut Ray Rice.

Several of those on Twitter who watched the video were quick to tweet their disgust with Rice, the NFL and the justice system.

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