Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill was under investigation by police for an alleged battery and one other alleged incident. In June, the Kansas City Star reported the investigation was closed and no charges were filed.
The Johnson County District Attorney announced earlier in the spring that the investigated was closed and that neither Hill nor his fiancé would be charged with a crime. That announcement came despite the office’s belief “that a crime has occurred.” The DA reportedly said “the evidence does not conclusively establish who committed the crime.”
But the investigation was reopened after KCTV aired recordings of a conversation between Hill and his fiancé an hour before the beginning of the 2019 NFL Draft, shedding new light on the abuse.
For now, the Chiefs receiver has avoided legal trouble, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that he won’t be punished by the Chiefs or the NFL. According to ESPN’s Dan Graziano, the NFL has considered putting Hill on the commissioner’s exempt list — a rare move during the offseason.
Near the end of June, Hill sat down with NFL investigators and according to Pro Football Talk, the meeting lasted eight hours.
The league previously said it was staying out of the way of the police investigation.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell says on #Chiefs WR Tyreek Hill that there is a court proceeding and “We will not interfere with that. The priority here is the young child.”
The NFL will speak with Hill as soon as possible, though.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) May 22, 2019
He was also suspended by the Chiefs from all team activities.
MOMENTS AGO: Kansas City Chiefs GM Brett Veach announced the team has suspended wide receiver Tyreek Hill from all team activities pending an investigation. pic.twitter.com/ImbUfTPRbo
— 41 Action News (@41actionnews) April 26, 2019
Here’s what we know so far:
What was Tyreek Hill accused of?
According to KCTV 5, Overland Park (Kan.) police were called to the home of Hill on March 5 and March 14. The first call was to investigate a report of child abuse or neglect, and the second was to investigate battery of a juvenile. The Kansas City Star reported that the incident was against Hill’s son, resulting in a broken arm.
In April, KCTV 5 reported Hill temporarily lost custody of his son as a result of the ongoing investigation.
The released recordings of a conversation between Hill and his fiancé appeared to indicate that Hill was responsible for the alleged abuse of his son:
In an audio obtain from @KCTV5, Crystal Espinal asks Tyreek Hill, “Why does he say, ‘Daddy did it.'”
A few minutes later in the conversation, Crystal Espinal says that Tyreek Hill punches his son in the arm & uses a belt a discipline.
— Nate Taylor (@ByNateTaylor) April 25, 2019
Hill in the audio to Crystal Espinal: “You need to be terrified of me, too, bitch”
— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) April 25, 2019
Hill’s lawyer disputed the allegations a week after the release of the recordings, and provided text messages that he said showed a different perspective.
Tyreek: “Crystal you know I didn’t cause any bruising or harm to [our son.] But for some reason I still may be charged.”
Crystal: “I know you didn’t. I did. I hurt [our son.] I’m the one that did it. I was hurt and mad at you so I blamed you for everything.”
Hill’s lawyer called the comment that “[Espinal] should be terrified, too” inexcusable, and says that Hill wouldn’t ask him “to defend that here.”
The accusation of violence wasn’t the first for Hill, though.
Hill was arrested and charged with domestic assault and battery by strangulation in December 2014, following an incident in which he reportedly punched and choked his then-pregnant girlfriend. He pleaded guilty to the charge and was dismissed from the Oklahoma State football team before finishing his collegiate career at the University of West Alabama.
HILL: “You ruined my life and you lied on me in 2014, bro…and if you want to rewind that night we can rewind that night too, [expletive]. You was in my house. And did I pick you up and slam you? Hell no, I picked you up and put you out my door and after that you left. And on my son you did that, bro. And then then you get in the courtroom you want to sit up there and cry on the stand. ‘He hit me, he hit me.’ Man, come on bro.”
What are the Chiefs saying about the investigation?
Not much. The Chiefs acknowledged they were aware of the ongoing process. Head coach Andy Reid has spoken about Hill, but hasn’t said a lot:
Chiefs coach Andy Reid says he has not been in touch with Tyreek Hill. He does not have a further statement on the matter.
“We’re just letting it take its course. Did I expect it to happen? I don’t know what happened. That’s what they’re trying to figure out.”
— Terez A. Paylor (@TerezPaylor) March 26, 2019
Reid didn’t speak about Hill again until the Chiefs began offseason workouts in the middle of April. Hill was in attendance, and Reid was vague once again.
“I know you’re going to potentially ask about Tyreek,” Reid said to reporters, via Arrowhead Pride. “Tyreek is here. I don’t have anything further to tell you from the statement we put out. There’s been no new news on it and so I’m going to leave it at that. I have had a chance to say hello to him. I have done that, and again, see him in the meeting.”
Just prior to the news of the alleged battery, Hill was close to a “record-setting” contract extension with the Chiefs, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. Talk of an extension hasn’t bubbled up since, although Jay Glazer of The Athletic did say there “were some rumblings” of a trade involving the receiver.