In another installment of the continuing back-and-forth over who knew what and when about Kareem Hunt’s assault, the Cleveland Division of Police released a statement Tuesday stating that an NFL representative had been given the police report concerning the assault in February, the same month it occurred.
The NFL rep was reportedly given the report through unofficial channels, leaving no record of an official public records request. The police also state that they are conducting an internal review into their response to the Hunt incident.
NEW: In a statement, Cleveland PD says it is beginning an investigation into how the Hunt incident was handled. Also say an officer gave the NFL the police report without following proper procedures. (@kmbc) pic.twitter.com/8YmpdOuW8K
— William Joy (@WilliamKMBC) December 6, 2018
This is yet another wrinkle in a story that has emerged parallel to the former Kansas City Chiefs running back’s fall from grace: Just how hard did the NFL attempt to get to the bottom of Hunt’s assault?
NFL did not formally request Kareem Hunt video either
This news comes out a day after a report that the NFL did not formally request a copy of the infamous video of Hunt shoving and kicking a young woman in a Cleveland hotel until Nov. 30, the day TMZ published the video.
If the league obtained the police report concerning Hunt through back channels, that probably strengthens the idea that they attempted to get the video in such a way as well. This would also explain why there was reportedly no official record of the NFL requesting the police report on Hunt until after the video emerged.
An NFL executive said as much while talking to the Kansas City Star:
NFL vice president of communications Brian McCarthy told the Star, “We had multiple verbal conversations with Cleveland police officers and requested surveillance video immediately upon learning of the incident in February.
“In addition, NFL representatives also made requests for surveillance video to the hotel property. We also obtained and reviewed the material developed by the police, which included the written reports prepared by the officers who responded to the incident, and later the interviews that were recorded by body cams and the recordings of the 911 calls.”
All of this matters because the NFL seemed to take singular responsibility for investigating and disciplining Hunt when it reportedly told the Chiefs not to pursue the video because the league was conducting the investigation. Hunt also claimed in an interview with ESPN that the NFL had never reached out to him over the incident.
The league had previously been reported to have known of the video’s existence beforehand, but was unable to procure it after several attempts.
Of course, the NFL apparently made zero attempts to procure the video through official means, which might have something to do with open-records laws allowing news organizations to see records of such requests.
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