Police Charges Against Pro Golfer Scottie Scheffler Dropped

Police Charges Against Pro Golfer Scottie Scheffler Dropped May 30, 2024

Scottie Scheffler: Louisville Metro Police Department

Scottie Scheffler is a prominent Christian on the PGA Tour and the world’s #1 pro golfer for more than the past year. On May 17th, at just after 5:00 AM during the second round of the PGA Championship, Scottie was arrested and jailed. He had been driving his tournament-marked car, and was about to turn into the entrance to the Valhalla Golf Club, located in Louisville, Kentucky, when a uniformed Louisville police officer arrested him, put him in handcuffs, and toted him off to have a seat in a jail cell. Instead, Scottie did his routine stretching exercises, hoping he would still make his tee time.

Scheffler spent about an hour in a Louisville jail. Fortunately, he made his tee time only because tournament officials delayed tee times because a tournament shuttle bus had killed someone that led to the Scheffler traffic incident minutes later. Environmental conditions, such as darkness and rain, contributed greatly to the traffic chaos. Yet Scheffler surprisingly shot a 67 and finished 8th in the tournament. All those pros who finished worse than 8th could have said, “Go figure! I got beat by a guy who was in jail.”

Scheffler Said It Was Only a “Misunderstanding”

Scottie Scheffler was expected to later appear before the Jefferson County Court for charges of reckless driving and assaulting a police officer, which latter would be a felony requiring serious jail time. But Scottie claimed it was “a big misunderstanding” between him and police officers directing chaotic and severely stalled traffic that had occurred due to the shuttle bus death.

The Louisville Police Department admitted early that the arresting officer had his body camera turned off, which was against department policy and for which it said he would be punished. The department produced two video surveillance camera footages which seemed to exonerate Scheffler. His lawyer then said Scottie “did nothing wrong,” he would appear in court to deny the charges, and would not accept anything less from the Jefferson County court than dropping the charges. Further evidence implicating the police is that the department did not contact certain witnesses to the incident who came forward, and it ignored more revealing video camera footage of the incident that was taken by witnesses.

Several PGA Tour pros who played in the tournament later joked with Scheffler about him being in jail and especially his shocking mug shot (above) taken as he was booked and fingerprinted there. Without proof, some players vouched for his innocence, saying this Christian guy Scottie Scheffler is “squeaky clean.”

The Louisville Police Department Is Criticized

In the aftermath, there has been considerable social media activity about it, nearly all of it being pro-Scheffler and some of it anti-Louisville Police Department, which does have a rather negative reputation, especially with its large Black community. The arresting police officer, a Caucasian, has some disciplinary incidents on his about 15-year police record. It seemed the Louisville Police Department was increasingly coming under pressure to right a situation that had gone bad for it.

Jefferson County Withdraws Charges

Since Louiville is in Jefferson County, Scheffler was first supposed to appear in Jefferson County Court a bare few days after the incident. The court date was then changed to June 3rd. But yesterday, Jefferson County attorney Mike O’Connell said his office would not pursue criminal action against Scottie Scheffler for his arrest during a traffic jam during the PGA Championship.

Scheffler afterwards said yesterday on Instagram, “As I stated previously, this was an unfortunate misunderstanding. I hold no ill will toward Officer Gillis. I wish to put this incident behind me and move on, and I hope he will do the same. Police officers have a difficult job and I hold them in high regard. This was a severe miscommunication in a chaotic situation.”

 

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