Kentucky cop disciplined for not activating camera in Scheffler arrest before PGA tournament | Video

Scheffler arrested, charged with felony assault, released from jail and made his tee time in whirlwind few hours last week

ByGabe Cohen and Eric Levenson, CNN CNNWire logo
Thursday, May 23, 2024
Louisville police release videos of Scottie Scheffler's arrest
Louisville police released two videos Thursday showing some of the arrest of star golfer Scottie Scheffler.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Louisville police released two videos Thursday showing some of the arrest of star golfer Scottie Scheffler last week and announced the detective who arrested him was disciplined for not turning on his body-worn camera at the time.

One video from a fixed pole camera positioned across the street shows portions of the interaction between Scheffler and police. In the video, a vehicle turns left and an officer wearing reflective gear runs toward the vehicle, which then stops. Police then take the driver out of the car and a group of three people walk across the street.

A second video from a police vehicle's dashcam shows two officers walking with a handcuffed Scheffler.

The videos were released a week after Scheffler was arrested, charged with felony assault, released from jail and then made his tee time in a whirlwind few hours at the PGA Championship, one of golf's four major tournaments.

SEE ALSO: Police: Officer dragged trying to stop Scottie Scheffler's car; PGA golfer released following arrest

The world no. 1 golfer was attempting to drive to the Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville for the second round of the tournament at about 6 a.m. when he came to the scene of a fatal crash. He allegedly injured a police officer who was directing traffic and was arrested, according to police.

Scheffler, 27, a new father with a sterling reputation, was charged with felony second-degree assault on a police officer, along with lesser charges of third-degree criminal mischief, reckless driving and disregarding signals from officers directing traffic, according to Jefferson County court records.

After taking a mugshot and warming up in a jail cell, he was released and made it to his tee time at the golf club. He then shot 5-under that day on his way to finishing the tournament in a tie for 8th place.

Scheffler described the incident as a "big misunderstanding" during a "chaotic situation."

After the news conference Thursday, Scheffler's attorney, Steve Romines, reiterated the golfer still plans to plead not guilty to the charges.

Louisville officials gave an update on golfer Scottie Scheffler's arrest Thursday.

"It won't impact my case at all. Our position is the same as it was last Friday: Scottie Scheffler didn't do anything wrong. We're not interested in settling the case. We will either try it or it'll be dismissed. It's very simple," he said. "All the evidence that continues to come out just continues to support what Scottie said all along, this was a chaotic situation and a miscommunication and he didn't do anything wrong."

High-ranking police officials in Louisville have privately voiced concerns a felony charge against Scheffler is excessive, a source familiar with the discussions told CNN.

Prosecutors said Thursday they continue to investigate the case.

"The Jefferson County Attorney's office has continued to receive evidence and has yet to conduct final interviews with investigators regarding the charges filed by LMPD against Mr. Scheffler," said Josh Abner, a spokesman for the office. "As we have stated previously, no decisions have been made and our review continues."

Scheffler, meanwhile, teed off for his first round at the Charles Schwab Challenge in Fort Worth, Texas, on Thursday afternoon.

Police discipline detective for not activating body-worn camera

At a news conference Thursday, Louisville's mayor and police chief announced that an internal investigation of the case led to discipline for the arresting officer, Detective Bryan Gillis.

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

The police chief said Gillis did not have his body-worn camera "operationally ready" as required. The detective has received "corrective action," the chief said, though the specifics of that discipline were not made clear.

"Activating body-worn cameras is critically important for our police department to have evidence, to maintain community trust, to be transparent," Louisville Mayor Craig Greenberg said.

Further, police released several documents related to the detective's failure to activate his body-worn camera. In one, Gillis explained he "never powered up" his body-worn camera and described his own version of what happened.

"While directing traffic in front of Gate 1 the PGA personnel stopped a bus from entering Gate 1," he 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."

Neither the mayor nor the police chief took questions from the media at Thursday's news conference.

What we know about the arrest

According to a Louisville Metro Police report, Scheffler was trying to drive into the golf course when he was stopped by an officer wearing a full police uniform and a yellow reflective rain jacket. The officer, identified as Gillis, stopped Scheffler and "attempted to give instructions," the report states.

"Subject refused to comply and accelerated forward, dragging Detective Gillis to the ground," according to the report.

The detective suffered pain, swelling and abrasions to his left wrist and knee and was taken to the hospital for further treatment, the report states. His uniform pants, valued at about $80, "were damaged beyond repair," the report adds.

Romines, Scheffler's attorney, said the golfer was headed to the course early to prepare to play.

"Due to the combination of event traffic and a traffic fatality in the area it was a very chaotic situation. He was proceeding as directed by another traffic officer and driving a marked player's vehicle with credentials visible," Romines said in a statement. "In the confusion, Scottie is alleged to have disregarded a different officer's traffic signals resulting in these charges."

Multiple eyewitnesses have said Scheffler "did not do anything wrong" but drove as directed, according to Romines.

"He stopped immediately upon being directed to and never at any point assaulted any officer with his vehicle," the statement reads.

ESPN's Jeff Darlington witnessed the encounter and filmed part of it. When Scheffler arrived in a marked player courtesy vehicle, he tried to drive around the crash scene on a median, according to ESPN. Darlington wrote on social media that Scheffler "continued to drive about 10 to 20 yards toward the entrance" before stopping.

"The police officer attempted to attach himself to Scheffler's car, and Scheffler then stopped his vehicle at the entrance to Valhalla," Darlington wrote on X. "The police officer then began to scream at Scheffler to get out of the car. When Scheffler exited the vehicle, the officer shoved Scheffler against the car and immediately placed him in handcuffs."

Police escorted a handcuffed Scheffler into a police vehicle, Darlington's video shows.

"Right now he's going to jail," an officer at the scene says in the video.

Scheffler's arraignment was originally scheduled for Tuesday but was delayed to June due to his attorney's scheduling issue.

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