Feb. 15, 2014: Rice and Palmer are arrested and charged with simple assault
Former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice and his then-fiancée Janay Palmer were arrested in Atlantic City following an altercation at the Revel Casino. Rice was charged with simple assault for “attempting to cause bodily injury to J. Palmer, specifically by striking her with his hand, rendering her unconscious,” according to a summons in the Atlantic City Municipal Court.
Feb. 19, 2014: TMZ releases video of Rice dragging an unconscious Palmer from an elevator
TMZ Sports released a video of Rice dragging Palmer, who looked to be unconscious, out of an elevator at the casino. The surveillance footage provided visual record of the aftermath of the altercation for which Rice and Palmer were arrested. The video did not show the incident itself.
March 27, 2014: A grand jury indicts Rice for third-degree aggravated assault
Although Rice was originally charged with simple assault, a misdemeanor offense, a grand jury indicted Rice for third-degree aggravated assault, a felony. This meant that, if convicted, Rice would face up to five years in jail rather than a fine, the typical punishment for simple assault. Palmer’s charge, on the other hand, was dropped. The couple married the following day.
May 20, 2014: Rice is accepted into a pretrial intervention program and avoids trial
Two months after his indictment, Rice was accepted into a pretrial intervention program focused on rehabilitation. As a result, Rice’s case never went to trial, and his aggravated assault charge will be dropped if he successfully completes the program, which lasts at least a year.
July 24, 2014: The NFL suspends Ray Rice for two games
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell banned Rice for two games without pay and fined him $58,000 in connection with his aggravated assault charge, a punishment that was widely criticized as insufficient.
Aug. 28, 2014: NFL updates its domestic violence policy
After initially defending the length of Rice’s suspension, Goodell revised the league’s policy on assault, battery, domestic violence and sexual assault, instituting a six-game suspension for NFL personnel who violate the policy once, and a lifetime ban for those who do so twice.
Sept. 8, 2014: Video is released showing Rice punching Palmer and the Ravens terminate his contract
In this second video, also released by TMZ Sports, Rice punches Palmer in the face, knocking her unconscious in the elevator, and is seen dragging her body out of the elevator. Prior to Monday, the surveillance tape within the elevator was not made public. Following the release of the video, the Baltimore Ravens cut Rice from the team. The NFL suspended him indefinitely. The video sparked widespread conversation about domestic violence and renewed criticism of the NFL’s handling of the case.
Sept. 9, 2014: Goodell says the league never saw the new video. The owner of the Ravens apologizes.
In an interview with CBS, Goodell said that the NFL had requested video footage of Rice and Palmer in the casino elevator, but “were never granted that opportunity.” He added that, as far as he knew, no on in the NFL had seen the video showing Rice punching Palmer prior to Monday. Baltimore Ravens owner Stephen Bisciotti, for his part, apologized for how the Ravens handled Rice’s case. “We should have pursued our own investigation more vigorously,” Bisciotti wrote to fans. “We didn’t and we were wrong.”
Sept. 10, 2014: The Associated Press reports that a law enforcement official sent the new tape to the NFL. The League opens an investigation led by former FBI official.
The Associated Press reported that a law enforcement official had, in fact, sent a DVD copy of the surveillance video to the NFL. The official said that he received a voicemail confirmation of receipt in April from an NFL number. The NFL announced that former FBI director Robert S. Mueller III would be investigating the league’s handling of Rice’s case.