Cleveland Browns quarterback, Johnny Manziel, could face criminal charges the week of Feb. 22, 2016. A complaint was filed against him in January for allegedly abusing his ex-girlfriend, and since then, he has been under the microscope of both the investigators and the media. There was not enough evidence, at the time of the complaint, to charge the quarterback with a crime. It was not until recently that investigators obtained surveillance footage of an altercation between the pair in Dallas, Texas. As this domestic violence case intensifies, it will surely end Manziel’s NFL career.
The Browns quarterback has a problem with social media. He has notably been prominent in the media due to violations of various codes of conduct under the NFL. He has been seen consuming large amounts of alcohol, has chosen to miss various football practices, and then, mistakenly posted pictures of himself at a Las Vegas casino the night before. Manziel has even lied to the Browns about certain videos that went viral of him obviously intoxicated when those videos had already surfaced on the Internet. Now, another video could put an end to his professional career altogether.
On Feb. 4, Colleen Crowley filed a complaint that Manziel hit her several times on Jan. 30. Two altercations occurred that night. One incident was in a Dallas hotel room, and the other when he drove her back to her apartment. He has denied the abuse of Crowley.
According to the police report, Crowley described, in detail, that Manziel became aggressive and hit her multiple times. She reported a ruptured left eardrum and provided other medical records. He had apparently forced her into his car and pulled her by the hair. She claimed that he insisted on driving her to her Fort Worth apartment and it was there that he hit her again. Crowley found a chance to run to a neighbor. Refusing to cooperate with Crowley’s objections, her neighbor insisted on calling the Fort Worth Police. It was also noted in the report that Manziel threatened to kill both her and himself that night.
The Fort Worth Police Department could not file any charges against him at the time because there was no evidence of a crime being committed in their jurisdiction. In addition, Crowley did not provide an official statement until a week later. Soon after, a judge approved Crowley’s protective order against the quarterback.
Dallas police have recently obtained footage of clear domestic violence that will end Manziel’s NFL career. Although the surveillance footage has not been released to the public, the video could potentially ruin the quarterback’s reputation and any hopes of him playing professional football in the future.
The video was taken at Hotel ZaZa, in Dallas. Even though the full content of the video is still unknown, ESPN reported that the footage shows Crowley asking a valet worker for help. She also said she was “scared for her life.” When Manziel’s car arrived, the worker stated he did not know what to do to help her. The quarterback then threw her into the passenger seat. The investigation will continue this week, and ultimately, the case will be presented to a grand jury.
Manziel has had continual run-ins with the law. On October 12, 2015, in Avon, Ohio, a police officer approached Manziel’s vehicle parked on the side of a two-lane road. He and Crowley, who was his then-girlfriend, were reported to have been arguing. There had been numerous calls reporting he was speeding in his BMW. In this report, Crowley claimed he hit her several times. She had downplayed the incident and later posted on social media that they were “fine.” No charges were filed, though, it heightened the growing spotlight on Manziel.
Prior to this incident, there have been countless occurrences of him extensively partying and consuming alcohol. During his freshman football season at Texas A&M University, he was arrested and pled guilty to a misdemeanor charge, failing to identify himself properly to the police. The judge accepted his guilty plea, and in response, the counts of disorderly conduct from fighting and having a fake driver’s license in his possession were dismissed.
Trouble in the NFL
Manziel was drafted by the Cleveland Browns in 2014, as a first round draft pick and picked 22nd overall. In his second season with the Browns, this year, it was announced on Nov. 7, 2015, he would be the starting quarterback for the remainder of the season. A week after this announcement, footage of him partying and consuming large amounts of alcohol surfaced the internet. The Browns immediately demoted him to third string quarterback.
Manziel’s NFL agent, Erik Burkhardt, recently dropped him as a client “after several emotional and very personal discussions with his family, doctors, and Manziel himself.” The Cleveland Browns have previously attempted to help their quarterback, in order to save his NFL career, by recommending alcohol rehab, but his release is expected within the next month. This domestic violence video may have ruined any second chances he had left. In a league where players undergoing domestic violence assault charges have become a zero-tolerant issue, Manziel’s footage of domestic violence will indefinitely end his career.
Opinion by Tricia Manalansan
Edited by Jeanette Smith & Cathy Milne
Dallas Morning News: Johnny Manziel could face domestic violence charges next week
CNN: Johnny Manziel domestic violence complaint investigated
The Washington Post: Johnny Manziel surveillance video is part of Dallas police investigation
Featured Image and Inline Image Courtesy of Erik Drost’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License