Gregory Evans, 50, a former Captain with the Madison County Detention Center, in Richmond, Kentucky, pleaded guilty today to using unreasonable force against a detainee, thereby violating the detainee’s civil rights. Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division and U.S. Attorney Carlton S. Shier IV made the announcement.
According to court documents and admissions made during the plea hearing, Evans was escorting the victim, E.B., down a hallway when Evans grabbed E.B. out of anger, strangled him, and repeatedly punched him. Evans’s assault caused E.B. to lose consciousness, and Evans then punched E.B. in the back and face while E.B. was unconscious. E.B. suffered a broken jaw as a result of the assault. Evans was aware that chokeholds were banned at Madison County Detention Center and that punching and strangling E.B. out of anger was an unreasonable use of force. Following the assault, Evans falsified an incident report and made false statements to the FBI. Specifically, Evans falsely claimed that he had ordered E.B. to turn around prior to the assault, that E.B. ignored his commands, and he deliberately omitted the fact that he had strangled E.B.
“The defendant is being held accountable for using excessive force to assault and strangle a man out of anger,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “The Civil Rights Division will continue to investigate and prosecute law enforcement officials who deprive individuals of their Constitutional rights.”
“When members of law enforcement engage in excessive force, they not only victimize an individual but do grave disservice to the dedicated work of so many others who honorably serve the public,” said U.S. Attorney Carlton S. Shier IV for the Eastern District of Kentucky. “Investigating and prosecuting this conduct is critically important, both to the victims and the Constitutional rights of all individuals.”
“Corrections officers have extremely difficult jobs; however, our community demands these officers conduct themselves professionally,” said Special Agent in Charge Jodi Cohen of the FBI Louisville Field Office. “Today’s guilty plea is a reminder that the FBI and the Department of Justice will aggressively investigate and prosecute public officials found to have abused those they have been sworn to protect.”
The crime Evans pleaded guilty to carries a maximum sentence of 10 years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine. Evans is scheduled to be sentenced on July 29.
This case was investigated by the FBI’s Lexington RA, and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Zachary Dembo for the Eastern District of Kentucky and Trial Attorney Andrew Manns of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.