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Louisville Police Broke Rules in the Arrest of Golfer Scottie Scheffler, an Inquiry Found


An investigation revealed that three Louisville Metro police officers violated rules by failing to activate their body cameras during the arrest of golfer Scottie Scheffler near Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Kentucky, on May 17.

Scheffler was detained for allegedly refusing to stop while on his way to a golf event and dragging a police officer, according to an internal inquiry issued by the department on Friday.

According to the records, Detectives Bryan Gillis, Kelvin Watkins, and Officer Javar Downs failed to turn on their body cameras, which is a breach of police practice.

Scheffler, 27, was attempting to drive to the Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Kentucky for a tournament when he arrived at the scene of a deadly accident at about 6 a.m., CNN earlier reported.

He allegedly injured a police officer who was directing traffic and was later caught and imprisoned.

According to a police statement, Gillis said he was directing traffic when he noticed a car approaching him from the opposite lane.

“I stopped the driver and informed him that he could not advance because of the bus. He requested to be permitted in and continued despite my instructions. “I was dragged/knocked down by the driver,” the statement read. “I then proceeded to arrest the driver.”

According to the police’s internal inquiry, no other officers witnessed the original incident because a shuttle bus blocked their view.

Scheffler’s charges were dismissed less than two weeks after his detention, CNN has reported.

According to Gillis’ statement, he never turned on his body camera because when he arrived on the scene, he “immediately started directing traffic.”

“Detective Gillis should have had his issued BWC powered on and at least in standby mode,” the Body-Worn Camera Failure to Record Form read. It later stated that “he failed to comply with powering it on.”

Detective Watkins stated that he “did not catch” the initial confrontation between Gillis and Scheffler.

“My bodycam was activated after I realized that this was a potential problem,” he stated in the statement. “My view was blocked by a bus,” he explained.

Officer Downs also failed to activate his bodycam, claiming he was “tasked with alleviating traffic,” according to the paper.

According to the records, on May 22, Gillis was counseled by a member of his command, and a performance evaluation was conducted.

Gillis was cited not just for failing to switch on his bodycam, but also for reaching inside a running car.

“Not a violation of policy, but tactically poor decision making by Det. Gillis regarding reaching into a vehicle that is running, is in drive, and the operator has the ability to pull away/accelerate,” the summary stated. “Whether Gillis grabbed Mr. Scheffler’s arm, or Mr. Scheffler pinned Gillis’s arm with his knee is immaterial had Gillis not crossed the plain into the vehicle’s passenger compartment.”

The summary stated that “the charges at the time” were just driving infractions, and Gillis “has been verbally counseled regarding risk versus reward in response to this incident.”

The investigative conclusions supported Gillis’ actions, stating that “Every other driver did as directed throughout the abnormal operations outside Valhalla.”

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