Three officers violated policy in Scottie Scheffler’s arrest, probe findings allege

June 8, 2024
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In late May, charges against Scottie Scheffler were dismissed. The world’s No. 1 golfer, was arrested May 17 outside the Valhalla Golf Club in the hours leading up to the second round of the PGA Championship in Louisville, Kentucky.

An investigation found three Louisville Metro Police officers in the area at the time of Scheffler’s arrest did not turn on their body cameras. 

The probe determined that detectives Bryan Gillis and Kelvin Watkins and Officer Javar Downs violated police policy when they failed to have their body cams activated. A 63-page document obtained by WDRB of Louisville contained pictures and an investigative file.

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Scottie Scheffler arrest

Scottie Scheffler was arrested and charged. (AP/Louisville Department of Corrections)

Last month, Louisville Police Chief Jacquelyn Gwinn-Villaroel announced Gillis received “corrective action” after an internal investigation found he did not follow proper protocols when he left his body cam off.

“Detective Gillis should have turned on his body-worn camera but did not. His failure to do so is a violation of the LMPD policy on uniforms and equipment, subject category body worn camera,” Gwinn-Villaroel said.  

SCOTTIE SCHEFFLER TALKS ARREST AFTER CHARGES DROPPED IN LOUISVILLE: ‘IT’S NOT SOMETHING I LOVE RELIVING’

Scheffler, 27, faced four charges, including felony assault over injuries an LMPD officer sustained during the encounter.

Gillis previously claimed he was dragged by the vehicle driven by Scheffler. An arrest report said Scheffler was driving a credentialed PGA courtesy car when an officer said Scheffler “refused to comply and accelerated forward, dragging” the officer to the ground.

Scottie Scheffler at a news conference

Scottie Scheffler speaks during a news conference after the second round of the PGA Championship at the Valhalla Golf Club Friday, May 17, 2024, in Louisville. (AP Photo/Matt York)

Gillis’ body camera did appear to capture Scheffler making a phone call from jail. The two-time Masters winner could be heard saying he was not certain if Gillis was a police officer.

“I sat there and tried to diffuse the situation, and then I was literally reaching out trying to find a police officer, not knowing he was one,” Scheffler said. “It’s my fault. I mean, he’s wearing a uniform. He’s wearing a yellow vest. I just didn’t see it.”

Scottie Scheffler in the 2nd round

Golfer Scottie Scheffler on the 18th green at the 2024 PGA Championship second round at Valhalla Golf Course in Louisville May 17, 2024. (Matt Stone/Courier Journal/USA Today Network)

Scheffler previously said it was a “misunderstanding,” and Jefferson County officials agreed with the golfer’s assessment.

“Based upon the totality of the evidence, my office cannot move forward in the prosecution of the charges filed against Mr. Scheffler,” Jefferson County Attorney Mike O’Connell said. “Mr. Scheffler’s characterization that this was ‘a big misunderstanding’ is corroborated by the evidence.”

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Police were investigating the death of a volunteer who was hit by a bus just outside the golf course when the Scheffler incident happened.

The PGA of America later identified the victim as 69-year-old John Mills. LMPD said Mills was struck by a shuttle bus around 5 a.m. near one of the golf course’s entrances.

Fox News’ Paulina Paulina Dedaj contributed to this report.

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