The NFL defended its minimal punishment of Giants kicker Josh Brown by claiming that police wouldn’t cooperate and provide relevant evidence for the investigation. The King County (Wash.) Sheriff pushed back against those accusations Thursday.
"I don’t like to get pushed around by a bully," Sheriff John Urquhart told KIRO-FM. "Or I can be charitable and say they don’t know the facts. They don’t understand how public disclosure works. That’s a better way to put it, if I felt like being charitable.
"I don’t like the NFL taking shots at the sheriff’s office when it’s not deserved. It's real simple."
On Wednesday night, documents were released that showed Brown admitted to abusing his wife, even calling her “my slave.” The NFL claimed it had never seen the documents and reopened its investigation of Brown, blaming the King County Sheriff’s Office for not cooperating.
"NFL investigators made repeated attempts -- both orally and in writing -- to obtain any and all evidence and relevant information in this case from the King County Sheriff’s Office,” the league wrote in a statement. “Each of those requests was denied and the Sheriff’s Office declined to provide any of the requested information, which ultimately limited our ability to fully investigate this matter.”
Urquhart did admit that King County turned away phone calls requesting more information about an active case, but said that the calls came from someone who never revealed they were investigating for the NFL.
“We had no idea who this yokel is,” Urquhart said.
He also said the NFL never once submitted a formal public records request. If the office knew it was the NFL calling, the sheriff said he would have been more willing to assist.
“I would have said exactly the same thing, ‘We cannot release the case file.’ But since this is a hot-button item in the NFL, since it’s the NFL, we probably would have told them orally a little bit more about what we had.” Urquhart said. “We’ve got some goofus from Woodinville named Rob Agnew asking for the case file. We have no idea who he is.”
One of the issues with Agnew’s requests were that they didn’t come from an NFL email account, but a Comcast one instead. However, an NFL representative responded to claims the league never filed a public records request by tweeting proof that it did in May 2015, along with a police report that detailed the NFL’s attempts to get more information.
Brown instead received a one-game suspension from the NFL which he served in Week 1 of this season. King County’s investigation concluded with no charges for Brown, citing a lack of cooperation from the accuser and insufficient evidence.