NewsCrime and Courts

Actions

Officer who arrested golfer Scottie Scheffler violated department policy, police say

The officer did not turn on his body-worn camera during the arrest, officials said at a news conference.
PGA Championship Golf
Posted at 10:31 AM, May 23, 2024

Louisville Police Chief Jacquelyn Gwinn-Villaroel said Detective Bryan Gillis violated department policy by not activating his body-worn camera when engaging pro golfer Scottie Scheffler.

Scheffler was arrested May 17 outside of Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville after he allegedly failed to stop and follow officers' directions as he attempted to drive into the golf club to participate in the PGA Championship. Traffic surrounding the golf course was at a standstill due to a fatal accident.

After being booked on four criminal counts, including assault of a police officer, criminal mischief, reckless driving and disregarding signals from officers directing traffic, Scheffler returned to the course and teed off later in the morning.

Gwinn-Villaroel said Gillis should have activated his bodycam during the incident. She added that there are no known videos showing what led up to the encounter between Gillis and Scheffler.

A police report obtained by Scripps News said Scheffler attempted to drive around traffic when Gillis "stopped the subject."

Scottie Scheffler speaks during a news conference after the second round of the PGA Championship golf tournament at the Valhalla Golf Club.

Sports

Star golfer Scottie Scheffler's court date postponed after arrest during PGA Championship

Gage Jackson
8:11 AM, May 21, 2024

Although officials released some video taken at the time of the arrest, Louisville Mayor Craig Greenberg added they are withholding some footage of the incident at the request of prosecutors. The video provided limited insight into the encounter between Gillis and Scheffler.

"Detective Gillis was counseled by his supervisor. We understand the seriousness of the failure to capture this interaction, which is why our officer has received corrective action for this policy violation," Gwinn-Villaroel said while not detailing what that action involved.

In a document provided by Louisville Metro Police, Gillis wrote that he was requested to respond to the fatal accident before his reporting time for his shift and immediately began directing traffic, never powering on his body-worn camera. Gillis added that he observed a car driving toward him, stopped the driver, and told him not to proceed. Gillis said the driver demanded to be let in and proceeded to move forward. Gillis then said that he was "dragged/kicked down by the driver."

Multiple superiors, however, noted that enough time had passed that Gillis should have at least had his bodycam on "standby mode" by the time he encountered Scheffler.

Greenberg noted the department's checkered history. In 2023, The Department of Justice issued a report on the practices of the Louisville Metro Police Department, stating it has “reasonable cause” to believe the department engages “in a pattern or practice of conduct that deprives people of their rights under the Constitution and federal law.”

"In Louisville, around the country, but especially here in Louisville, after the recent past, activating body-worn cameras is critically important for our police department to have evidence, to maintain the community's trust, to be transparent," the mayor said.

Scheffler remained at the top of the Official World Golf Ranking following the May 16-19 PGA Championship.