Scottie Scheffler incident: Louisville police release findings of investigation into police officer

Louisville police have disciplined the police officer whose body camera was not active during Scheffler's arrest

Louisville officials have revealed the results of an internal investigation into an incident involving world No. 1 golfer Scottie Scheffler last Friday before the second round of the PGA Championship. The officer who initially interacted with Scheffler was cited by the Louisville Metro Police Department for failing to follow departmental procedure during the arrest. Charges against Scheffler have not been dropped, and police indicated they will let the judicial process run its course.

Louisville Mayor Craig Greenberg and Louisville Metro Police Department Chief Jacquelyn Gwinn-Villaroel announced the findings during a press conference on Thursday morning.

Detective Bryan Gillis has received "corrective action," in Gwinn-Villaroel's words, for violating department policy by not turning on his body camera. Greenberg indicated that there is, as yet, no available footage "which captures the initial interaction between LMPD (Det. Gillis) and Mr. Scheffler."

LMPD did release two videos, neither of which shows the initial interaction between Gillis and Scheffler.

In the first video, the car Scheffler was driving can be seen turning left into Valhalla Golf Club at the left side of the screen, followed by a police officer on foot wearing a yellow vest:

The second video shows the incident from a different angle across the street. Scheffler's car is visible pulling past the bus and making the left turn into the club. Two minutes later, Scheffler is led away in handcuffs by officers.

Both videos clearly show the chaotic scene outside Valhalla, with flashing lights and rain causing problems with visibility and clarity.

Neither the Louisville police chief nor the mayor indicated that the charges against Scheffler would be dropped.

"We respect the judicial process," Gwinn-Villaroel said, "and we will allow the courts to proceed accordingly."

Shortly after the press conference ended, Scheffler's attorney, Steve Romines, reaffirmed his client's innocence.

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

"... I've seen everything there is to see," he continued. "Everything that is out there supports exactly what Scottie has said from the start."

An arraignment initially scheduled for this past Tuesday was delayed to June 3. Scheffler has since traveled to Texas to play in this week's Charles Schwab Championship. Since he is facing a felony charge, he will be expected to be in court in Louisville on June 3, which is the Monday of the Memorial Tournament in Ohio.

Around 5 a.m. on May 17, outside the gates of Valhalla Golf Club, security guard John Mills was killed when a shuttle bus hit him. The ensuing traffic as police investigated the fatal accident backed up in both directions on the one road that runs past Valhalla. Players were permitted to enter the facility, but when Scheffler showed up around 6 a.m., he was stopped by an officer on the scene.

What happened next was the source of considerable debate over the ensuing hours. According to the police report, shortly after the incident the officer demanded Scheffler stop, but the World No. 1 “refused to comply and accelerated forward, dragging [Gillis] to the ground.” The officer was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment, and his pants — valued at $80, according to the report — were a total loss.

Scottie Scheffler is greeted by fans after the second round of the PGA Championship golf tournament at the Valhalla Golf Club, Friday, May 17, 2024, in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/Matt York)
Scottie Scheffler is greeted by fans after the second round of the PGA Championship golf tournament at the Valhalla Golf Club, Friday, May 17, 2024, in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/Matt York)

Scheffler disputed that version of events. "I was proceeding as directed by police officers,” he said in a later statement. “It was a very chaotic situation, understandably so considering the tragic accident that had occurred earlier, and there was a big misunderstanding of what I thought I was being asked to do. I never intended to disregard any of the instructions.”

Even so, Scheffler was removed from the vehicle, handcuffed and taken to jail for booking. He was charged with second-degree assault of a police officer (a felony), criminal mischief in the third degree (a misdemeanor), reckless driving (a traffic violation) and disregarding signals from officers directing traffic (a misdemeanor).

Scheffler spent a short time in jail, but was released in time to make his accident-delayed tee time at the PGA Championship. He shot an impressive 66 on Friday, but faltered on Saturday and was not in contention for the season's second major, which Xander Schauffele won. Fans wearing "Free Scottie" t-shirts were everywhere on the course, and he ironically enjoyed a new surge of popularity he hadn't yet attained even while winning the Masters twice.