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PGA golfer Scottie Scheffler mugshot

In deference to "the legal process," and at the request of the Jefferson County Attorney, Louisville Metro has elected to withhold at least some records related to the arrest of a golfer by Louisville Metro Police at Valhalla Golf Course during last week's PGA tournament.

Mayor Craig Greenberg and Chief Jacquelyn Gwinn-Villaroel declined to answer any questions concerning the incident, again citing the Jefferson County Attorney's request to allow the legal process to runs its course. The chief stated that the investigative findings, the signed failure to activate body cam form, the governing body cam  policy, and two videos -- a fixed pole-mounted camera across the street from the incident, and dash-cam video -- would be posted on the LMPD website immediately following Thursday's press conference.

Louisville police detective disciplined for failing to turn on body camera during Scottie Scheffler's arrest…

This begs the questions: What is being withheld and can Metro/the Jefferson County Attorney meet their burden of proving that disclosure at this time would cause "a concrete risk of harm" to the investigation and prosecution of the charges against PGA golfer Scott Scheffler?

Apparently, additional video that captured some or all of the incident is being withheld -- perhaps other unidentified public records.

The standard for invoking the ongoing law enforcement exemption (KRS 61.878(1)(h)) is a high one.

The Kentucky Supreme Court has emphasized:

"The law enforcement exemption is appropriately invoked only when the agency can articulate a factual basis for applying it, only, that is, when, because of the record's content, its release poses a concrete risk of harm to the agency in the prospective action. A concrete risk, by definition, must be something more than a hypothetical or speculative concern."

What "concrete risk of harm" can the Jefferson County Attorney articulate that justifies nondisclosure of some but not all video. What other records, if any, has the county attorney asked Metro to withhold on this basis and what is the concrete risk of harm from their premature disclosure?

It is likely there are pending open records requests relating to the arrest. Louisville Metro officials cannot dismiss them as casually as they dismissed reporters questions at today's press conference. The open records law will not permit it.

The day of legal reckoning is upon them. Articulate concrete harm -- not speculative harm such as "taint the jury pool" or "influence witness memory" -- or disclose all responsive records. Delay, in case like these, only serves to reinforce conflicting public opinions, divide the community, and breed mistrust.


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