BREAKING NEWS Out Of The Dallas Cowboys… MAJOR Suspension

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The NFL suspended Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott six games Friday for violating the league’s personal-conduct policy.

The ruling comes after the NFL’s year-long investigation into domestic violence accusations made against him by Tiffany Thompson, who identified herself as his former girlfriend to authorities.

Elliott, 22, has denied the allegations and has up to three days to appeal the NFL’s decision. If the six-game suspension stands, Elliott would be eligible to make his season debut Oct. 29 against the Washington Redskins.

ESPN first reported the development. Elliott was formally informed of the suspension Friday morning.

The six-game ban stems solely from the league’s investigation into the domestic violence allegations made by Thompson in July 2016, a league source told NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero. In a statement released by the league, Todd Jones, the NFL’s Special Counsel for Conduct, said independent advisers who reviewed the evidence gathered by the league “were of the view that there is substantial and persuasive evidence supporting a finding that [Elliott] engaged in physical violence against Ms. Thompson on multiple occasions during the week of July 16, 2016.”

In its letter to Elliott, obtained by NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport, the NFL stated it reviewed photographs taken by Thompson of her physical injuries following multiple incidents. The league found the “photographic and medical forensic evidence corroborates many critical elements of the allegations regarding the causes of her injuries.”

Ultimately, the decision to suspend Elliott was made by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.

“… The commissioner carefully considered the issues raised by the [NFL Players Association] on your behalf regarding witness credibility and alternative causation theories,” the NFL’s letter to Elliott stated. “However, in the commissioner’s judgment, there has been no persuasive evidence presented on your behalf with respect to how Ms. Thompson’s obvious injuries were incurred other than conjecture based on the presence of some of her bruising, which pre-dates your arrival in Columbus on July 16, 2016.”

Thompson told police Elliott assaulted her on five separate occasions over the course of a week in July 2016, according to the Columbus (Ohio) City Attorney’s Office. He was never arrested and prosecutors declined to charge Elliott, citing conflicting and inconsistent information.

Under the terms of the NFL’s personal conduct policy, players found by the league to have committed domestic violence are subject to “a baseline suspension without pay of six games” regardless of whether “the conduct does not result in a criminal conviction.”

The policy states: “In cases where a player is not charged with a crime, or is charged but not convicted, he may still be found to have violated the policy if the credible evidence establishes that he engaged in conduct prohibited by this Personal Conduct Policy.”

Robert S. Tobias, principal assistant city attorney in Columbus, stated in an email to Pelissero last yearhe believed “there were a series of interactions between Mr. Elliott and [his accuser] where violence occurred.”

“… Given the totality of the circumstances, I could not firmly conclude exactly what happened,” Tobias wrote in October. “Saying something happened versus having sufficient evidence to criminally charge someone are two completely different things.”

The NFL launched its investigation soon after Thompson filed a police report last summer. League investigators first interviewed Elliott in October and met with him again last month. Elliott and the NFLPA turned over phone records and documents related to the case to the league in May.

It wasn’t the only incident the NFL looked into involving Elliott, but events outside of the July 2016 domestic violence accusations did not factor into his suspension, a league source told Pelissero. Thompson called police on Elliott in Feb. 2016 in Florida, where the former Ohio State star was training prior to the NFL Scouting Combine, sources with knowledge of the situation told Pelissero. She told police she suffered shoulder pain when Elliott pushed her up against a wall. Elliott wasn’t arrested or charged.

In March of this year, Elliott was seen in videos and photos pulling down a woman’s shirt and exposing her breast on the roof of a Dallas bar during a St. Patrick’s Day parade. Last month, Elliott was involved in an incident at another Dallas bar that initially sparked an assault investigation before police suspended their probe. That incident, however, was never part of the NFL’s completed probe, a source with knowledge of the investigation told Rapoport and Pelissero.

Elliott is in his second season with the Cowboys after rushing for 1,631 yards and 15 touchdowns en route to earning first-team All-Pro honors in 2016.

Editor’s note: The following is a statement released by the NFL announcing a six-game suspension for Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott.

Ezekiel Elliott of the Dallas Cowboys was notified today by the NFL that he will be suspended without pay for the team’s first six 2017 regular-season games for violating the league’s Personal Conduct Policy.

Over the course of the last year, the league conducted an extensive investigation. League investigators interviewed more than a dozen witnesses, including Ms. Tiffany Thompson, who had alleged multiple instances of physical violence in July 2016, and Mr. Elliott. The league also consulted with medical experts. League investigators examined all available evidence, including photographic and digital evidence, thousands of text messages and other records of electronic communications.

Pursuant to the Personal Conduct Policy, Commissioner Goodell sought the views of four external advisors (see below) to assist him in evaluating potential violations. These experts range in experience from law enforcement, judicial and public service, and other specialized subject areas.

The advisors participated in a meeting on June 26, 2017 in New York City with Elliott, who was represented by his legal team and the NFL Players Association. The group also reviewed the league’s investigative reports and materials, the expert medical reports, and multiple NFL Players Association submissions on Elliott’s behalf.

In a letter to Elliott advising him of the decision, Todd Jones, the NFL’s Special Counsel for Conduct, said these advisors “were of the view that there is substantial and persuasive evidence supporting a finding that [Elliott] engaged in physical violence against Ms. Thompson on multiple occasions during the week of July 16, 2016.”

After reviewing the record, and having considered the views of the independent advisors, the commissioner determined that the credible evidence established that Elliott engaged in conduct that violated NFL policy.

Elliott may appeal this decision within three days. If he does not appeal, Elliott’s suspension will begin September 2, the day of final roster reductions for NFL teams. He is eligible to participate in all preseason practices and games. Elliott will be eligible to return to the team’s active roster on Monday, October 23 following the Cowboys‘ Sunday, October 22 game against the San Francisco 49ers.

MEMBERS OF THE EXTERNAL EXPERT ADVISORY PANEL

 

PETER HARVEY, Esq., former Attorney General for the State of New Jersey.

KEN HOUSTON, member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, who played in 14 seasons in the NFL.

TONYA LOVELACE, MA, Chief Executive Officer of The Women of Color Network, Inc.

MARY JO WHITE, Esq., former United States attorney and former Chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission.

How many thugs are you allowed to have on one team? Just wondering…

God Bless.

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Dean James III% AMERICA’S FREEDOM FIGHTERS

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