A police officer in Louisville, Kentucky is facing a federal charge after allegedly hitting a peaceful protester in the back of the head with a riot stick, CNN reports. The alleged victim was protesting the police killings of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd when the incident took place.
Officer Cory Evans is facing “one count of deprivation of rights,” according to the charging document, which was filed Wednesday (June 9) by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Kentucky.
WLKY News reports:
That person allegedly was kneeling with their hands in the air at the time of the strike, the [charging] document states. Evans is now charged with deprivation of rights under color of law.
The charge carries a penalty of up to 10 years in prison. This isn’t the first time Evans has faced trouble in his role. In 2018, he was accused of using excessive force during a traffic stop.
The victim of the head-bashing incident, which took place “on or around May 31, 2020,” according to CNN, was left with “bodily injury” after they were allegedly struck by Evans. The charging document refers to the victim as “M.C.” and offers no further details about the person’s injuries.
Evans on Thursday, (June 11,) was served with “pre-termination paperwork” from the Louisville Metro Police Department, CNN reports.
Louisville leaders are currently under investigation by an oversight panel of the Louisville Metro Council for the way officials responded to the killing of Taylor, as well as for their handling of protesters. U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland on April 26 announced a federal investigation into the Louisville Metro Police Department’s practices. The goal is to determine whether or not “LMPD engages in a pattern or practice of violations of the Constitution or federal law,” according to the DOJ announcement.