LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Federal officials have charged a Kentucky police officer accused of hitting a kneeling protester in the back of the head with a riot stick last year during demonstrations for racial justice.

Louisville Metro Police officer Cory P. Evans was charged Wednesday with deprivation of rights under color of law, according to documents filed in U.S. District Court, news outlets reported.

Evans, in his capacity as an officer, “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," prosecutors wrote in the documents.

Evans' attorney declined to comment on the charges as did the FBI. Louisville police did not immediately respond to questions about Evans’ status with the department.

Evans “willfully deprived” the demonstrator of the right of unreasonable seizure, which includes freedom from “unreasonable force by a law enforcement officer,” court records said.

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