Louisville, Kentucky - A former Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD) officer was sentenced Tuesday in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky for using excessive force on an arrestee. U.S. District Court Judge Rebecca Grady Jennings sentenced Cory P. Evans, 34, to two years’ imprisonment and two years’ supervised release.
Evans previously pleaded guilty to violating the Constitution by using objectively unreasonable force against an arrestee. When he entered his guilty plea, Evans admitted that on May 31, 2020, while he was working as a part of the LMPD Special Response Team, he followed a group of individuals around downtown Louisville to execute arrests for unlawful assembly and violations of curfew. At an intersection, a person in the group surrendered for arrest by getting on his knees and placing his hands in the air. While that person was kneeling in this position, Evans struck him in the back of the head with a riot stick, which created a wound on the back of the kneeling victim’s head. The victim fell forward and was taken into custody by other LMPD officers.
“Former officer Evans abused his authority by violently retaliating against a surrendering arrestee who had been exercising his First Amendment rights during a demonstration in Louisville, during the racial justice demonstrations in the spring of 2020,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke for the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “The Justice Department will continue to hold accountable officers who violate their oath and the Constitution.”
“The FBI and LMPD’s Public Integrity Unit did outstanding work in this case,” said U.S. Attorney Michael A. Bennett for the Western District of Kentucky. “The effort of the assigned agents and detectives resulted in a successful prosecution and is a positive step toward strengthening trust and confidence between our citizens and the officers who protect them.”
“In order for the public to have full trust and confidence in the law enforcement officers who have sworn to protect them, those officers who choose to abuse their authority must be held accountable,” said Special Agent in Charge Jodi Cohen of the FBI’s Louisville Field Office. “Today’s sentencing reflects the FBI’s and the Department of Justice’s unwavering commitment to identify, investigate and prosecute law enforcement officials who break the law by violating a person’s Constitutional rights.”
The FBI and LMPD’s Public Integrity Unit jointly investigated the case through the Louisville Public Corruption Civil Rights Task Force. Assistant U.S. Attorney Amanda Gregory for the Western District of Kentucky and Civil Rights Division Trial Attorney Tim Visser prosecuted the case.