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Police release video of Scottie Scheffler arrest, say officer violated camera policy

Scottie Scheffler chips a shot during the third round of the 2024 PGA Championship on Saturday at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Ky. Photo by John Sommers II/UPI
1 of 6 | Scottie Scheffler chips a shot during the third round of the 2024 PGA Championship on Saturday at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Ky. Photo by John Sommers II/UPI | License Photo

May 23 (UPI) -- Louisville police on Thursday released two videos of the incident that led to golfer Scottie Scheffler' arrest last week. And officials said a detective involved in the arrest violated policy by not using his body-worn camera during the incident.

Corrective action was taken against Louisville Metro Police Department detective Bryan Gillis, officials said.

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"Detective Gillis was counseled by his supervisor," Police Chief Jacquelyn Gwinn-Villaroel told reporters at a news conference in Louisville, Ky.

"We understand the seriousness of the failure to capture this interaction, which is why our officer has received corrective action for this policy violation."

Scheffler still faces a second-degree felony charge of assault of a police officer, in addition to misdemeanor charges of criminal mischief, reckless driving and disregarding traffic signals from an officer directing traffic.

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Gwinn-Villaroel and Louisville Mayor Craig Greenberg discussed the disciplinary action and revealed their findings from a police investigation into the matter. Police also released a department memorandum -- citing Gillis' failure to turn on his camera -- and a "failure to record form," filled out by the detective.

Gillis wrote, under a prompt asking for an explanation of why he didn't use his camera, that he was requested to respond to the scene of the fatal accident and started directing traffic upon his arrival.

Gillis claimed Scheffler "demanded to be let in" to the course, counter to police instructions.

"While directing traffic in front of Gate 1, the PGA personnel stopped a bus from entering Gate 1," Gillis wrote. "I observed a vehicle traveling in the opposing lanes coming at me. I stopped the driver and advised him he could not proceed because of the bus. He demanded to be let in, and proceeded forward against my directions.

"I was dragged/knocked down by the driver. I then proceeded to arrest the driver."

Scheffler's attorney, Steve Romines, told reporters Thursday that he plans to go to trial for his client unless his case is dismissed. The attorney said Scheffler is not interested in settling the case.

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The No. 1 golfer in the world was arrested before the second round of the 2024 PGA Championship on Friday morning outside Valhalla Golf Club. He was booked at 7:28 a.m. and released about an hour later.

An arrest citation from the police said Scheffler failed to comply with officers' commands to stop his vehicle while they directed traffic after a fatal accident outside the course. That citation states that Scheffler "accelerated forward, dragging" an officer to the ground.

Scheffler, who claims he followed police direction, has called the arrest "a big misunderstanding." He is scheduled for arraignment June 3 in Louisville.

"We respect the judicial process and we will allow the courts to proceed accordingly," Gwinn-Villaroel said. "We will not be able to make any further statements as it relates to this matter."

Initial footage of the incident, filmed by ESPN, showed officers detaining Scheffler and taking him to jail, but did not show the initial contact he had with police.

The videos released Thursday -- one from a police dashboard camera and another from a pole across from the golf course -- were not high-quality, but did show officers around Scheffler's car at the entrance to Valhalla.

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Gillis received the corrective action in the form of a notation on his performance observation form, Gwinn-Villaroel said.

Corrective actions from police departments often include counseling, training, close supervision and special performance evaluations and action plans, while disciplinary actions can include written reprimands, suspensions, demotions or dismissals.

Louisville police standard operating procedures require officers to "maintain their body-worn cameras in a constant state of operational readiness."

They also are required to immediately activate the cameras any time they initiate an emergency response, including those for traffic accidents and other situations resulting in serious physical injuries.

Police say they are not aware of additional footage that shows the initial interaction between Scheffler and Gillis.

Romines, Scheffler's attorney, said Thursday that the police update and video release "won't impact [his] case at all."

"Our position is the same as it was last Friday," Romines said. "Scottie Scheffler didn't do anything wrong. We are not interested in settling the case. We will either try it or it will be dismissed.

"It's very simple. All the evidence that continues to come out continues to support what Scottie said all along. This was a chaotic situation and a miscommunication and he didn't do anything wrong."

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Scheffler, the PGA Championship favorite, finished tied for eighth at the Louisville course in the second major tournament of the season.

The two-time Masters Champion was scheduled to tee off his first round at the 2024 Charles Schwab Challenge at 1:45 p.m. EDT Thursday in Fort Worth, Texas. The tournament runs through Sunday at Colonial Golf Club.

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