By Brian Rokus and Christina Carrega, CNN
A former Louisville, Kentucky, police officer has pleaded guilty to hitting a kneeling person in the head who was surrendering during an arrest in May last year, according to a statement from the Department of Justice.
Cory Evans, 33, appeared in court and pleaded guilty Wednesday in the incident, which happened while he was an officer with the Louisville Metro Police Department on duty during protests following the police killings of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd.
On May 31, 2020, Evans was on patrol for violations of curfew and unlawful assembly, according to the DOJ statement.
As one man surrendered for arrest by getting on his knees and placing his hands in the air, Evans “struck the victim in the back of the head with a riot stick,” according to the statement. The victim, who suffered a head wound, then fell forward and was taken into custody by other officers.
Evans faced one count of deprivation of rights when charged in June of this year. He was later served with pre-termination paperwork and is no longer with the department.
Evans is scheduled to be sentenced on November 23 and faces a maximum of 10 years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine, according to the statement.
“While the vast majority of law enforcement officers are hardworking professionals who work conscientiously to protect the public, Cory Evans was simply not one of those officers,” said Acting Special Agent in Charge Edward J. Gray of the FBI’s Louisville Field Office.
“Every citizen has the right to expect law enforcement officers to act in accordance with the laws they have sworn to uphold. We entrust law enforcement officers with great power and authority, which we, as a community, expect them to wield with the utmost integrity. This case provides another example that abusing that power and authority will not be tolerated in Louisville,” Gray said.
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CNN’s Rebekah Riess, Aya Elamroussi and Travis Caldwell contributed to this report.