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LMPD Officer Cory Evans. Image courtesy Louisville Metro Police. 

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Louisville Metro Police Officer Cory Evans resigned Monday as the department planned to fire him over a federal charge for hitting a kneeling protester in the back of the head with a riot stick.

Evans submitted his resignation letter Monday, less than a week after LMPD released a statement saying the Chief's Office "immediately referred" the allegations against Evans to federal authorities "when they came to light."

An attorney for Evans declined to comment. 

The incident in question happened during a demonstration for racial justice on May 31, 2020.

Evans allegedly "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 complaint filed in federal court says.

He is scheduled for a change of plea hearing on July 14, which indicates he will plead guilty on a charge of injuring a protester who was allegedly "kneeling with hands in the air, surrendering for arrest" when he hit him in the back of the head with a riot stick, according to court records.

Evans has been with LMPD since 2014, according to the city's salary database.

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.

Cell phone video shows Evans punching Jarrus Ransom several times after police found pills in a Pepsi can while searching his car. Ransom was in a neck brace in his Metro Corrections mugshot, and his eye was swollen.

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.

In April, Evans sued local DUI attorney Larry Forman for defamation after a video was posted to YouTube alleging the officer planted evidence during the traffic stop.

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