Louisville Police Officer Criticized for Arrest of Golfer Scottie Scheffler


Newly released documents reveal that the confrontation involving the arrest of professional golfer Scottie Scheffler by a Louisville, Kentucky, officer could have been avoided.

According to the report from the Louisville Metro Police Department, Detective Bryan Gillis “determined Mr. Scheffler was refusing to follow lawful orders from an officer directing traffic, grabbed Mr. Scheffler’s left arm and attempted to open the driver’s door of the vehicle.”

The report further states that Gillis ran “alongside the vehicle briefly while yelling for help before being dragged to the ground,” after which Scheffler stopped his car.

LMPD Lt. Craig Browning indicated in the report that Gillis made a “tactically poor decision” by “reaching into a vehicle that is running, is in drive, and the operator has the ability to pull away/accelerate.”

In this mug shot provided by the Louisville Metropolitan Department of Corrections on Friday, May 17, 2024, Scott Scheffler is shown. (Louisville Metropolitan Department of Corrections via AP)

Photos in the report show that Gillis sustained a minor scratch on his wrist and had his pants ripped.

Footage of a phone call Scheffler made from jail indicates the golfer was initially unaware that Gillis was a law enforcement 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.”

The report was released along with the revelation that three of the LMPD officers, including Gillis, present during the arrest initially failed to activate their body cameras.

As a result, there is no body-worn camera footage of the events leading up to Gillis’s encounter with Scheffler.

In the body camera footage captured right after the arrest, Scheffler says, “Are you the one that I dragged? I’m sorry. Sir, I did not know you were a police officer. I’m terribly sorry.”

Gillis responded, “I mean, you hurt my wrist, my ankle, my knee and ripped my pants. … I’m directing traffic. It says police on me.”

Scheffler was arrested at the PGA Championship in May as he attempted to enter the golf course where he was set to tee off. Due to a pedestrian being fatally struck by a bus earlier in the day, some entrance areas to the course were blocked off. Following an argument with the golfer about accessing the course, Gillis arrested Scheffler despite reports that Scheffler was driving a marked player car.

Jefferson County Attorney Mike O’Connell dismissed all charges against Scheffler last month, calling them “a big misunderstanding.”

This is not the first instance of Gillis failing to conduct himself appropriately as a member of the Louisville police department.

After being briefly suspended in 2013 for having an intoxicated civilian in his police car while doing donuts, he was found to be “at fault” in an accident later that year. In 2019 and 2021, Gillis was orally reprimanded for being “at fault” in accidents. His most recent violation came in June 2021 after he was disciplined for chasing a “vehicle that did not commit a violent felony or wanted on a warrant.”

Emily Hallas
Emily Hallas
Breaking News Reporter. Previously, Emily was a member of U.S. Senator Tim Scott's communications team.

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