Officer Involved in Pro-Golfer Scottie Scheffler’s Arrest Violated Policy by Not Using Body Cam, Chief Says

Rachel Acenas
By Rachel Acenas
May 23, 2024US News
The police officer who arrested Scottie Scheffler at the PGA Championship last week is being disciplined for not having his bodycam turned on. Meanwhile, the Louisville Police Department has released footage of the incident—though from quite a distance.

The officer who arrested top-ranked golfer Scottie Scheffler violated department policy by not turning on his body camera for the interaction, police said on Thursday.

During a press conference, the chief of police said that Detective Bryan Gillis did not have his body-worn camera (BWC) “operationally ready” as required.

“We understand the seriousness of the failure to capture this interaction, which is why our officer has received corrective action for this policy violation,” Chief Jacquelyn Gwinn-Villaroel said during Thursday’s press conference.

The chief did not disclose further details of that corrective action but said the officer filled out a Failure to Activate form, which is in line with disciplinary protocol and practices, according to a police memorandum.

The two-time Masters champion was arrested last week on his way to enter the PGA Championship at the Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville. Police were redirecting traffic due to a nearby fatal accident at the time.

Mr. Scheffler, 27, claimed that he was simply following police directions on how to navigate through the traffic. But police claimed that he refused to comply with those directions and instead accelerated his SUV forward, “dragging” the detective to the ground, according to a police incident report.

Mr. Gillis suffered “pain, swelling and abrasions” to his wrist and knee, stated the report.

The golfer was charged with felony assault, released from jail, and went on to compete in the tournament later that morning, where he received eighth place and a $520,000 payout.

The charges against him have not been dropped, and authorities have indicated that they will let the legal process run its course.

His attorney, Steve Romines, maintains the golfer’s innocence and says he has “no interest” in settling the case.

“It’s very simple; all the evidence continues to come out and continues to support what Scottie said all along – this was a chaotic situation and miscommunication, and he didn’t do anything wrong,” he told reporters following the police press conference.

“We are prepared to litigate the case if we need to. If we don’t need to, fine. But our position remains the same. It will either be dismissed, or we will go to trial,” he said.

Police also released two videos of the pre-dawn, rainy-day incident on May 17. One video came from a fixed security camera on the other side of the road where he was arrested, and the other was recorded by a police car dash camera.

Louisville Mayor Craig Greenberg said that he is not aware of any video footage that captured their initial interaction.

“Activating body-worn cameras is critically important for our police department to have evidence, to maintain community trust, to be transparent,” he said.

The mayor also said that the local prosecutor handling the case has requested that any additional video or evidence related to the case not be released “until the conclusion of the legal process.”

Mr. Scheffler has been charged with second-degree assault of a police officer, third-degree criminal mischief, reckless driving, and disregarding signals from officers directing traffic.

He is scheduled to appear in court for his arraignment on June 3.

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