Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill was under investigation by police for an alleged battery and one other alleged incident. No charges were filed and, in July, the NFL announced it would not suspend the receiver.
“Based on the evidence presently available, the NFL cannot conclude that Mr. Hill violated the Personal Conduct Policy,” a statement from the league reads, in part.
The Chiefs subsequently released their own statement.
“We have been informed of the decision by the National Football League that, based on the available evidence, the league has not found that Tyreek Hill violated the NFL’s Personal Conduct Policy,” the Chiefs said. “Based on the information provided to us by the league, we have decided it is appropriate for Tyreek to return to the team at the start of training camp. The club fully supports the conditions for return laid out by the league and will continue to monitor any new developments in the case. We are glad to welcome Tyreek back to the team and look forward to the start of training camp next week.”
Hill then released his own statement, thanking the NFL and the Chiefs.
According to ESPN’s Dan Graziano, the NFL previously 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.”— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) May 22, 2019
The NFL will speak with Hill as soon as possible, though.
He was also suspended by the Chiefs from all team activities in April.
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 about the situation:
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 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.”
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. The NFL reportedly already had the entire 11-minute recording before it was released in clips by KCTV.
The recordings initially 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.'"— Nate Taylor (@ByNateTaylor) April 25, 2019
A few minutes later in the conversation, Crystal Espinal says that Tyreek Hill punches his son in the arm & uses a belt a discipline.
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 full length recording wasn’t released over two months later.
The criminal investigation was eventually closed for a second time.
The investigation by the Kansas Department For Children and Families remains ongoing, spokesman Mike Deines tells me. But that isn’t a criminal investigation of Tyreek Hill and Crystal Espinal. It’s strictly about the child’s welfare.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) July 19, 2019
The accusation of violence wasn’t the first for Hill. The receiver 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 did the Chiefs say about the investigation?
Not much. The Chiefs acknowledged they were aware of the ongoing process. Head coach Andy Reid spoke about Hill, but didn’t say 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.— Terez A. Paylor (@TerezPaylor) March 26, 2019
“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.”
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.
Those rumors officially came to a close two days before Week 1, when Hill and the Chiefs agreed to a three-year, $54 million contract extension.