Newly-surfaced video shows the vicious punch Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice delivered to his then fiancee, earning him a two-game suspension that prompted critics to accuse the NFL of taking a weak stance on domestic violence.
In the video, obtained by TMZ, the 5-foot, 8-inch, 220-pound athlete delivers a left-handed blow to the face of Janay Palmer, appearing to knock her out cold. The video is shot from inside the Revel Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City, and is the footage shot before the previously circulated video that showed Rice dragging his unconscious wife-to-be out of the elevator on Feb. 15.
The NFL suspended Rice for two games during the season, including Sunday’s opening day loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. The pair married on March 28, one day after a grand jury indicted Rice on an aggravated assault charge. But the suspension, considerably shorter than other penalties doled out by the league for such transgressions as smoking marijuana, drew sharp criticism from advocates for victims of domestic abuse.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has since announced harsher penalties for domestic abuse, telling league owners in a letter last month that he “didn’t get it right” in Rice’s case.
The new video shows the pair in the elevators engaged in an apparent argument. When Palmer steps forward toward Rice, he drops her with a brutal roundhouse punch. An employee of the hotel, which has since closed, told the website the NFL saw the elevator footage before meting out the suspension.