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Chiefs’ Tyreek Hill to be interviewed by NFL this week, sources say

Brett Veach addresses Tyreek Hill audio recording

Chiefs general manager Brett Veach says Tyreek Hill won’t be involved in team activities for now.
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Chiefs general manager Brett Veach says Tyreek Hill won’t be involved in team activities for now.

Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill will meet with the NFL this week, multiple sources with knowledge of the situation told The Star on Monday.

Hill has been suspended from team activities by the Chiefs since April. The team starts training camp July 27.

Hill and his legal team will be present for interviews with the league, the sources said. The NFL previously said it did not have permission to interview Hill for its own investigation because of an active child welfare case involving the Kansas Department for Children and Families.

When contacted by The Star, Hill’s attorney N. Trey Pettlon and the NFL declined comment Monday. WHB (810 AM) was first to report that Hill and the NFL were to meet this week.

Johnson County District Attorney Steve Howe told The Star earlier this month that a criminal child abuse probe involving Hill and his fiancee Crystal Espinal “is not an active investigation.”

But Howe also told The Star that his comments made in an April 24 news conference “still hold true.” At that time, he said he believed the 3-year-old son of Hill and fiancee Crystal Espinal had been hurt but couldn’t prove who did it.

Two days after that news conference, and after a taped conversation of Hill and Espinal talking about their son and how he got hurt surfaced, Chiefs coach Andy Reid said the criminal investigation had been re-opened.

When asked if the case had ever been reopened, Howe did not respond.

Though the criminal investigation is no longer active, Hill and Espinal do have an ongoing case with DCF. Generally speaking, cases like these can take weeks, months or even years for the families to receive the services they need.

In a May press conference, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said the league was waiting for permission to interview Hill for its own investigation. That directive stemmed from the child welfare case, NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said at the time.

“There is a court proceeding still going on involving CPS, Child Protection Services, and we will not interfere with that,” Goodell said then. “The priority is this young child and so we will obviously be cooperative with whatever the court wants there. We are prepared to go ahead and have an interview whenever we have the permission to.”

News surfaced in mid-March that Overland Park police took two reports at Hill’s Johnson County home, one for battery and the other for child abuse and neglect. The police reports, dated March 5 and March 14, involved a juvenile.

The Star reported on March 15 that a source familiar with the situation said an incident at Hill’s home left the boy with a broken arm.

The Star reported on April 18 that sources said the 3-year-old was removed from the custody of Hill and the boy’s mother.

It isn’t clear if that status has changed. An Instagram video posted earlier this month to an account in the boy’s name showed the child playing on park playground. Hill can be heard talking to the child while he traversed a rope bridge.

On April 24, Howe said he wouldn’t be filing charges and that though he thought a crime had been committed, he couldn’t prove who hurt the child.

The next day, a Kansas City television station aired the taped recording of a graphic conversation between Hill and Espinal — who was pregnant with twins at the time.

On April 25, Chiefs general manager Brett Veach said Hill would not participate in team activities for the foreseeable future.

At the time, owner Clark Hunt said he was “deeply disturbed” by the audio recording.

In a four-page letter sent to the NFL on May 2, an attorney for Hill denied the child abuse claims that were alluded to in the audio recording, which was allegedly made by Hill’s fiancee in a Dubai airport.

The letter disputes nearly every claim made in the snippets of the 11-minute recording aired by the Kansas City television station.

The Star’s Laura Bauer and Steve Vockrodt contributed to this report

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