Scottie Scheffler, number one, golfer
Scottie Scheffler is the number one ranked professional golfer in the PGA Tour. Photo credit: Titleist / Wikimedia (CC BY 3.0 DEED)

The arrest of the world's top golfer revealed many of the things that are wrong with the criminal justice system in the US.

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When all charges against Scottie Scheffler, the world’s top golfer, were dismissed on Wednesday, it was clear that the only thing deserving an indictment in this case was the criminal justice system itself.

That is not to say that the charges shouldn’t have been dismissed… they should have.

However, from beginning to end, this two-week saga laid bare some of the major flaws in the criminal justice system — from the “crime” itself, to the manner in which Scheffler was arrested, to what happened afterwards.

And it demonstrates that there really are two tiers of justice in the US today. One for the Scottie Schefflers, Donald Trumps, and Hunter Bidens of the world, and the other for the rest of the poor schlubs who are not wealthy or privileged enough to get out of trouble.

If you are unfamiliar with the case, here is what happened: Scheffler, ranked No. 1 in the world, arrived at the Valhalla Golf Club in the early morning of May 17 to participate in the second round of the PGA Championship.

At that time, there was a heavy police presence because, roughly an hour earlier, a pedestrian had been struck by a bus and killed.

Here is where Scheffler made his one and only mistake: He disobeyed the order of a cop.

In his defense, it’s tough to blame him. Scheffler apparently believed that the rules did not apply to him. After all, he was supposed to be there, so he made the turn onto the road that led to the club.

Things unraveled from there.

A video (kinda) shows what transpired next: A cop, perhaps upset that he had been disobeyed, chased after the car and, according to an eyewitness, “attached” himself to the vehicle. Noting that things weren’t what he thought, Scheffler then quickly stopped.

In the end, he was charged with second-degree assault of a police officer (a felony), as well as third-degree criminal mischief, reckless driving, and disregarding traffic signals from an officer directing traffic.

Watch the video and judge for yourself whether you recognize any of that.

Next, the cop tried to pull Scheffler out of his vehicle before the golfer got out, was handcuffed, and was led away.

At this time, the officers probably had not realized that they really messed up because they had gotten the wrong guy. And in this case, “wrong” doesn’t mean that Scheffler wasn’t the offending person; it means that the cops arrested a famous and affluent white guy and that there were plenty of witnesses.

They would learn very quickly that this was a mistake.

First, however, there is another video of cops on a power trip. It is insane that they would handcuff Scheffler. It’s not as though he was about to make a run for it and head for the state line or make off to Canada.

Of course, we don’t know exactly what happened because the arresting police officer didn’t have his body cam turned on.

That probably wouldn’t have been much of a problem… if a Black teenager had been shot in the back. Unfortunately for the officer, he was arresting the world’s top golfer. Therefore, he has since been disciplined.

And then, of course, the charges were ultimately dismissed. Again, that’s how it should be based on the footage we have and the ridiculous charges that were filed.

However, if the arrested person had not been a wealthy white person, things probably would have turned out much differently.

And that is the real way in which there is a two-tiered justice system in the US.


  • Klaus Marre

    Klaus Marre is a writer, editor, former congressional reporter, and director of the WhoWhatWhy Mentor Apprentice Program. Follow him on Twitter @KlausMarre.

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