New Jersey Senate President Steve Sweeney (D) wants the state’s top law enforcement official, Acting Attorney General John Hoffman, to investigate a domestic violence incident involving former Baltimore Ravens football player Ray Rice.
Rice was fired by the Ravens and suspended indefinitely by the NFL on Monday after TMZ published video footage showing him hitting his then-fiancee in the elevator of a casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey in February. Sweeney issued a statement on Tuesday calling for Hoffman to investigate the Atlantic County prosecutor’s decision to allow Pre-Trial Intervention in the case. That decision enabled Rice to avoid potential jail time by entering a so-called diversion program.
“This video and the violence it shows is extremely disturbing. It is a vivid reminder that domestic violence is a serious problem that can’t be ignored and shouldn’t be treated lightly,” Sweeney said. “That is why I am asking Acting Attorney General John Hoffman to review the decision-making process that allowed for Pre-Trial Intervention and to look at the law itself to see if it should be re-written or revised. This should include a review of who qualifies for PTI and when it is allowed.”
Hoffman’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Business Insider.
The Atlantic County prosecutor’s office defended its handling of Rice’s case in an interview with NJ.com that was published after the video was released.
“As Senate President, I have a responsibility to see that the law is used to protect women from abuse and, as a husband and father, I have a moral obligation to do what I can to prevent these acts of violence from being repeated,” said Sweeney. “Anything we can learn from this incident and the way it was handled by law enforcement that can be used to better counter domestic violence should be done.”
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