A Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD) officer has been indicted for allegedly hitting a kneeling demonstrator in the head during a Breonna Taylor protest last year. LMPD Officer Cory Evans is now facing one count of violating a person’s civil rights, according to a complaint that was filed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Kentucky on Wednesday (June 9).
Last May, Evans allegedly struck a person in the back of the head with a riot stick while the person, who was kneeling with their hands in the air, surrendered for arrest.
The attack resulted in bodily injury, according to the complaint. So far, the protester has only been identified as “M.C.” and no other details have been given about that person’s injuries.
According to WAVE 3, Evans is the first officer to be charged for a particular claim made by a demonstrator since May 2020. Since then, the FBI Public Corruption and Civil Rights Task Force has been investigating possible civil rights crimes.
This isn’t Evans’ first time being accused of excessive use of force. Back in 2019, he was caught on a cellphone video punching a man in the back while trying to put on his handcuffs. Body camera footage showed the suspect knocking Evans to the ground before the phone’s video clip began.
LMPD Chief Steve Conrad later cleared Evans of any wrongdoing. If Evans is convicted of the civil rights charge, he will face up to 10 years in prison and monetary fines.
In April, the Justice Department launched an investigation into the practices of the LMPD, a little over a year after Taylor was shot and killed in her home by local officers. Attorney General Merrick Garland said the probe “will assess whether (LMPD) engages in a pattern or practice of using unreasonable force, including with respect to people involved in peaceful expressive activities.”