NFL running back Ray Rice is currently serving a two-game suspension, after a February attack on his then-fiancée, Janay Palmer. On Monday (September 8) a jarring video of the crushing blow hit the Internet for all to see.
The incident occurred in the elevator of an Atlantic City, New Jersey hotel back on February 15. At the time, video surfaced of the aftermath of the attack, as Rice appeared to pull an unconscious Palmer from the elevator. But TMZ Sports has now published an edited version of the brutal surveillance tape. In the three-and-a-half-minute clip, Rice can be seen entering the elevator with Palmer, whom he married after the attack.
In the video, the 206-pound running back strikes his now-wife and she appears to strike him back, before he delivers a blow to her face, which causes her to knock her head on an elevator hand rail and fall unconscious. Rice then tries to drag Palmer out of the elevator, before he is stopped by what appears to be a hotel security guard. TMZ says the video is a "cleaned up version" of the raw surveillance video which was "jerky."
Rice was suspended for two games and fined more than $500,000 by the NFL, which said it did not see the gruesome footage until today. "We requested from law enforcement any and all information about the incident, including the video from inside the elevator. That video was not made available to us and no one in our office has seen it until today," a league spokesman told ESPN.
There have been questions about whether or not the league's punishment was severe enough, and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell admitted in an August letter to team owners that he "didn't get it right" and the league was revamping its policy on domestic abuse. Under the new guidelines, players will receive a six-game suspension for a first offense and a lifetime ban from the league for a second offense.
In May, Rice entered a pretrial diversion program, which will allow him to avoid a formal prosecution if he attends the program for one year. If he completes the program, the aggravated assault charges will be dismissed, while the arrest will stay on his record.
"I failed in many ways. But, Janay and I have learned from this. We have become better as a couple and as parents," Rice said in a statement released after his suspension was handed down in July. "I am better because of everything we have experienced since that night. The counseling has helped tremendously."
If you or someone you know is experiencing relationship abuse, please head to Love Is Respect.
For more information and vital facts about gender-based violence and, specifically, dating violence, head over to Look Different.