NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell will have ex-FBI director Robert Mueller III lead an independent investigation into the Ray Rice assault case, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com.
In February, the running back punched histhen-fiancée -- who he has since married -- in the face in an elevator of an Atlantic City casino, knocking her to the floor where she remained for several moments. The investigation will center on how evidence in the case was handled and whether Goodell and the NFL had footage of the incident.
Goodell said the NFL asked police for the footage but said the league was unable to obtain it. A report earlier on Wednesday states that a law enforcement official told the Associated Press that the footage was given to the NFL five months ago. The official reportedly has a voicemail from an NFL representative confirming receipt of the footage in which a woman from an NFL office phone number says, "You're right, it's terrible."
Rice was released by the Ravens on Monday and subsequently given an indefinite ban from the NFL after the footage was made public.
Earlier this summer, he was initially given a two-game ban by the league for pleading not-guilty this spring to one count of third-degree felony aggravated assault.
In the report Wednesday night, Goodell said he pledges full cooperation with the investigation and will make all NFL records accessible to the investigators. The final report will be made public, he said.
- Marc Weinreich