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Can NFL, Baltimore Ravens still discipline Zay Flowers after police suspend investigation?

Can NFL, Baltimore Ravens still discipline Zay Flowers after police suspend investigation?
Can NFL, Baltimore Ravens still discipline Zay Flowers after police suspend investigation? 03:49

BALTIMORE -- Baltimore County Police suspended the domestic violence investigation involving Ravens' star Zay Flowers without any charges being filed. 

But, can the Ravens or the National Football League step in and discipline the wide receiver?

The NFL's Code of Conduct for players says that "even if a case does not rise to the level of criminal charges, players are held to a higher standard and could still face punishment, including suspension."

The Ravens have not commented beyond an initial statement several weeks ago saying they "take these matters seriously."

The investigation stems from an allegation of a domestic violence assault that allegedly unfolded inside an Owings Mills townhome on January 16. Property records show Flowers is a resident there. 

A 911 dispatcher received a call from a woman who sounded "in distress" and was "crying," but said there was no emergency before handing up the phone. 

Five days after the 911 call, the woman went to police back home in Acton, Massachusetts, according to the police report.

The woman later told police that she closed the shades as officers waited in the neighborhood for several hours. 

Both WJZ and Baltimore County Police are not identifying her. 

"On callback, female answered and was crying, said she didn't have an emergency but seemed in distress when she hung up the phone," according to dispatch audio.

In a police report obtained by WJZ, in an interview with an officer days later, she described "a really bad 10 minutes."

She said, "The incident became physical and violent. [Redacted] advised that he trashed all her stuff and her belongings. [Redacted] advised she, then packed her stuff and came back home to Acton, Massachusetts."

According to police in Acton, who recorded an interview with her, "She stated that she was physically assaulted, which left her with multiple bruises. 

During the assault, she stated that she called 911, and was crying when they answered.

The woman said she had photographs of the bruises but declined to share them. She also said the suspect's brother pulled out a firearm during the incident. 

But she did not want to identify her boyfriend —an NFL player— "…that is why she was scared to document it," police wrote in their report.

"[She] explained that she was very hesitant to give much information due to the high-profile status of the other party involved," the police report read.

"For better or worse, this is not an unusual circumstance in an alleged domestic violence situation," Baltimore attorney Adam Ruther said. 

"In certain circumstances, the police and more specifically the State's Attorney's Office can proceed in a domestic violence case without the cooperation of the complaining witness, but obviously, they would need other evidence that they would be able to use in order to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt," Ruther continued.

Police wrote, during the victim's interview, "She looked at her phone and stated that she was getting a call from the suspect's agent. She did not answer."

Through his attorney, Zay Flowers declined an interview with police.

No charges were filed and the case has been suspended.

However, the case could be reopened if the department receives additional information.

"Within one year, if they develop new information that allows them to charge, then they certainly could do that," Ruther said. "On the other hand, if there's an allegation that there are felonies involved, those could be charged at any time."

The NFL's Personal Conduct Policy —which addresses domestic violence and other violations —states, "It is not enough simply to avoid being found guilty of a crime in a court of law. We are all held to a higher standard…" and "In cases in which 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 prohibited conduct."

Flowers was not charged and was not named as a suspect in any criminal case.

Police say they did offer the woman a protective order and advised her to think about her overall well-being and safety but she said she was not currently in fear and declined it. 

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