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USA Today via Reuters

May 17 will remain a date etched in Scottie Scheffler‘s life. It was reported that the golfer allegedly dragged a police officer with his car, but there appears to be no proof of it. The Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD) pressed four charges (reckless driving, disregarding signals from an officer, and criminal mischief (3rd-degree) and 2nd-degree assault of a police officer) against the reigning Masters Champion.

Per the report, Detective Bryan Gillis, who was maintaining the traffic at gate one, suffered “pain, swelling, and abrasions to his left wrist and right knee.” Gillis attached himself to Scheffler’s vehicle in an attempt to stop him, but the current World No. 1 allegedly “refused to comply” and accelerated forward.

However, it appears there is no official proof of the claim. Scheffler’s attorney, Steve Romines, also countered the allegation of dragging the officer and stated, “He stopped immediately upon being directed to and never at any point assaulted any officer with his vehicle.” The LMPD doesn’t have any footage of the altercation between Scheffler and Gillis, as the latter’s body cam wasn’t turned on. Speaking to WDRB, Louisville Mayor Craig Greenberg said, “We have not yet discovered any video of the initial contact between Officer Gillis and Mr. Scheffler.” Notably, assaulting an officer is a class C offense, which can result in five to ten years of imprisonment.

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However, when Scottie Scheffler got back to Valhalla golf course a few hours after his arrest, he recalled this unfortunate incident and said, “I was just in shock, and I think my body was just — I was shaking the whole time… I’m hopeful to put this to the side and play golf today.” Scheffler put up a brilliant performance and finished the day with a sub-70 score.

A survey by the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) revealed that most departments provide their officers with some leeway on when to activate and deactivate the Body Worn Camera (BWC). Interestingly, the report also indicated that most departments require their officers to give reasons for not turning on the body cameras.

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Notably, the Louisville Metro Police Department adopted a BWC policy in 2015. The Standard Operating Procedure states that “all sworn members will be issued and are required to utilize the BWC in accordance with this policy.” It further states that if an officer fails “to record the complete incident or interrupts the recording, he/she will notify his/her supervisor prior to the end of his/her tour of duty and complete a Failure to Activate Body-Worn Camera form, via DocuSign.” There has not been any update from the LMPD official as of the moment the report went to publication.

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On the other hand, ESPN reporter Jeff Darlington had witnessed the whole situation unfold in front of his very own eyes. Scheffler even asked for his help when he was pushed against the car and was placed in handcuffs. The reporter could not do much, as an officer told him, “You need to get out of the way, Right now, he’s going to jail, and there’s nothing you can do about it.”

Darlington, however, captured the entire incident on video, which until now remains the only footage from the fateful Friday morning. Gillis has been with the Louisville Police Department since 2007. Gillis reportedly owns ACIS Advanced Collision Investigation Services LLC as well.

However, the apparent recklessness has caused netizens to demand the officer’s resignation.

Fans demand Scottie Scheffler be freed of all the charges

Law enforcement agencies rely on body cameras for improved evidence, to reduce conflicts, and also to improve officers’ safety. Per the 2018 Bureau of Justice Statistics report, 47% of general-purpose law enforcement agencies and 60% of local police departments use body cameras. An analysis of the effectiveness of BWCs in Rialto, California, showed that complaints dropped by 88% after BWCs were employed.

So, some believe officers should face consequences in cases of non-compliance. One user tweeted, “How convenient. Cops should be fired for doing this.” Some claimed that unless the body cameras are turned on ‘100% of the time’ they are ‘worthless.” However, the views inside police departments are that recording every encounter creates too many opportunities for privacy infringement and also hinders positive communication between the officers and the public.

However, some fans feel that since there is no conclusive evidence, the charges should be dropped against Scheffler. The World No. 1, is arguably one of the nicest golfers in the world. In the post-round press conference, the 10-time PGA Tour winner said that the officers were extremely helpful, and they even shared jokes as well and stated, “The officer that took me to the jail was very kind. He was great. We had a nice chat in the car, that kind of helped calm me down. I was sitting there waiting to kind of go in and I asked him, I was like, Hey, excuse me, can you just come hang out with me for a few minutes so I can calm down.”

For fans, that’s one more reason to free the man. “So those charges must be dropped surely. You can’t charge someone without proof, your word against theirs.”  Joe Pompliano, a noted voice in the sports community, tweeted, “No bodycam footage of Scottie Scheffler dragging a cop with his car? Color me shocked! These charges might be dropped by the time Scheffler hoists the trophy on Sunday.

Another fan wanted to know what happened to the officer. “Any word on Officer Gillis’s injuries? No one ever said if he was released from the hospital.” There has not been official confirmation of Gillis’s health.

Scottie Scheffler made a stellar return to the greens after the arrest and carded a 5 under 66 during the second round. However, it looks like all the chaos has somewhat caught up with World No. 1, and his caddie, Ted Scott, was also not present by the PGA Tour pro’s side on the moving day. During the third round, Scheffler carded 5 bogeys and a double bogey on par 4, 2nd. The 2-time major winner ended his round at 2 over par.

According to the stats revealed by Golf Digest, Saturday’s round “was the first time Scottie Scheffler has made 3 consecutive bogeys or worse in a round since August 11, 2022, at the FedEx St. Jude.” Currently, Scottie Scheffler holds the T24 spot on the leaderboard. It remains to be seen if Scheffler will win the Wanamaker Trophy on Sunday.

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