NFL

Cleveland police investigate response to Kareem Hunt incident, NFL access to records

Police are investigating how the NFL got a copy of the Feb. 10 assault report, though the organization did not file a records request.

Cleveland police are opening an internal investigation into the response of Kareem Hunt's case and allegations of assault after a video from a February incident was released last week showing him shoving and kicking a woman in a hotel hallway. 

“The Cleveland Division of Police is conducting an internal investigation regarding the overall response to the February 10, 2018 incident,” Cleveland police said in a statement

One item the police are investigating is how the NFL obtained a copy of the Feb. 10 assault report, though the organization did not file an official records request. 

"Following an internal review, it has been determined that in February 2018 a member of the Cleveland Division of Police provided a copy of the police report involving the February 10, 2018 assault incident at The 9 to a representative from the National Football League," the police said in a statement. "The report did not go through the official public records request process."

According to previous public records reviewed by The Kansas City Star, it appeared the NFL had not filed an official request for the records until Nov. 30, the day TMZ posted video of the incident on its website. Additionally, the Chiefs never made a formal request for the assault report, according to public records reviewed by The Star.

The NFL released a statement Tuesday, responding to reports claiming the league did not file an official request for the records until TMZ released the video last Friday. The league explained how it had obtained the written reports and that the information was prepared by the officers who responded to the incident in February.

"We had multiple verbal conversations with Cleveland police officers and requested surveillance video immediately upon learning of the incident in February," NFL vice president Brian McCarthy said in a statement, via NBC News.

"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 bodycams and the recordings of the 911 calls."

The Chiefs released Hunt last Friday after seeing the video released by TMZ. The footage doesn't identify the woman, but it is believed to be connected to an individual who came forward after an incident that occurred Feb. 10. Abigail Ottinger, 19, claimed she was "pushed and shoved" during a dispute in Cleveland, alleging to police that Hunt assaulted her around 3:45 a.m. on a Saturday outside his hotel apartment, according to Cleveland.com.

Police responded to the scene, but charges were not filed and no arrests were made "because officers say they were unable to determine if a crime had been committed," according to TMZ.

The woman told police in February that the argument started when she refused to hook up with a member of Hunt’s entourage, TMZ reported.

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