On February 15, 2014 video was released of Baltimore Raven’s running back Ray Rice dragging his unconscious fianceé Janay Palmer off of an elevator at the Revel Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City. It was reported that the two had gotten into a heated argument but there was no video evidence of the assault that lead to her being knocked out—until now.
TMZ has posted a disturbing video which shows the full incident from beginning to end. The clip opens with Janay walking past Rice in the hallway and he lunges towards her with his head. He appears to be either yelling at her or spitting at her, which provoked her to backhand him then continue walking. Rice follows her into the elevator where he strikes her once the doors close. Janay retaliates and Rice punches her in the face causing her to fall and hit her head on the elevator’s railing and then to the floor. She remained unconscious as Rice dragged her off the elevator onto the hotel floor.
This full two-minute Minute clip is what the NFL commissioner Roger Goodell saw before handing down a two-game suspension to Rice and $500,000 fine. He later admitted that he “didn’t get it right” and instituted stiffer penalties for domestic abuse which include a full season suspension for the first offense and a lifetime ban for the second.
Rice and Palmer were married a month after the attack and held a press conference in July where Rice said “I made the biggest mistake of my life” and his wife—inexplicably- apologized for her role in the incident.
Rice escaped jail time for the third-degree assault charge due to a pretrial diversion program that allows first-time defendants to avoid formal prosecution if they participate for at least a year.
UPDATE: The Raven’s have parted ways with Rice and the NFL has suspended him indefinitely. Contrary to some reports by sports columnists, the NFL commissioner insists that the league had not seen this full video when deciding to hand down the initial two-game suspension.
“We requested from law enforcement any and all information about the incident, including the video from inside the elevator,” the league said in a statement. “That video was not made available to us and no one in our office has seen it until today.”