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Louisville officer charged, accused of striking activist in Breonna Taylor protest

Louisville officer charged, accused of striking activist in Breonna Taylor protest
© Banneker-Douglass Museum/ Future History Now

Prosecutors argued in court documents filed on Wednesday that a Louisville police officer violated federal law when he hit a kneeling protester in the back of a head during a protest last year in response to the killing of Breonna Taylor.

Cory P. Evans was indicted on charges of deprivation of rights under color of law for striking a protester in May 2020, NBC News reports.

“Cory P. Evans, while acting under color of law, willfully deprived arrestee M.C. of the right, secured and protected by the Constitution and laws of the United States, to be free of an unreasonable seizure, which includes the right to be free from the use of unreasonable force by a law enforcement officer,” the court documents read.

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According to the documents obtained by NBC, Evans “struck M.C. in the back of the head with a riot stick while M.C. was kneeling with hands in the air, surrendering for arrest. The offense resulted in bodily injury to M.C."

This is the first indictment against a Louisville police officer since the protests that took place last year in response to the killings of multiple unarmed Black people including Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery.

Evans has worked for the Louisville Police Department since 2014 and has faced complaints of excessive force in the past, NBC reports. He was accused of punching a driver during a traffic stop in 2018, though he was later cleared by the police chief. Despite being cleared, Evans is still listed as defendant in the lawsuit that the driver later filed.