Cory Evans

LMPD Officer Cory Evans. Image courtesy Louisville Metro Police. 

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Former Louisville Metro Police officer Cory Evans was sentenced to federal prison after admitting to hitting a protestor in the head with a baton during Breonna Taylor protests. 

U.S. District Court Judge Rebecca Grady Jennings sentenced Evans to two years in prison. Evans also will be on probation for two years following his release and he will have to pay $1,962.85 to the victim. 

Evans, who resigned from the Louisville Metro Police Department last June, faced up to four years in prison.

"This is a difficult case," Jennings said. "This was an individual who was on his knees, basically alone, in the middle of the street." 

Body camera video played in court during Evans' sentencing hearing on Tuesday shows the victim on his knees with his hands in the air before Evans' struck him with his baton.

The incident happened on May 31, 2020, at the intersection of Brook Street and Broadway while police were following a group of people "causing chaos." Initially, Evans told a supervisor that the victim injured himself by falling off a chain-link fence and hitting his head on the concrete.

"I was embarrassed by what I did," Evans said during the hearing. "I was tired. I was broken. I wanted to be home with my family." 

Assistant U.S. Attorney Amanda Gregory argued for the maximum allowable penalty of four years but Jennings ruled that based upon Evans' lack of criminal history and previous history with mental illness because of his military service that a middle ground of two years was "most appropriate."

The victim and his parents also addressed the court during the hearing. 

"You have taken away my voice," the victim said. "He abused the power vested in him and instead used it for evil." The victim said he lost his hearing for a week after the incident and had to have the wound stapled together. 

Evans' attorney, Brian Butler, argued that Evans shouldn't have been charged in federal court in the first place and argued for probation. 

"What's happening to Cory Evans is draconian," Butler told the judge. "If you take this incident out, he is the poster child for what we want young men and women to be." 

Evans, who was charged on June 9, 2021, submitted his resignation to LMPD less than a week after the department released a statement saying the chief's office "immediately referred" the allegations against Evans to federal authorities "when they came to light."

Evans had been with LMPD since 2014.

In 2019, Evans was exonerated from allegations of police brutality after a Public Standards Unit investigation into a controversial traffic stop that occurred in December 2018 in front of the Kroger near the intersection of South 26th Street and West Broadway.

Body camera footage of the incident shows Ransom lunge into Evans and officers struggling to get him into handcuffs. The charges against Ransom stemming from the traffic stop were later dropped.

Ransom sued the city, Evans and fellow Officers Kyle Carroll and Sarah Nicolas, claiming they used excessive force during his arrest. The lawsuit was moved to federal court in the Western District of Kentucky, and the city has been dismissed from the case, according to court records.

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