Three months after Ashli Babbitt, an unarmed veteran and Trump supporter, was killed by a Capitol police officer on January 6, 2021, the Justice Department’s Civil Rights division closed its investigation into the fatal shooting.
Omitting the name of Lieutenant Michael Byrd—the media, law enforcement officials, and congressional leaders concealed his identity for months—the Justice Department concluded Byrd did not violate 18 U.S.C., section 242, a federal criminal civil rights statute, when he shot Babbitt at point-blank range without warning, barely missing her face, around 2:45 p.m. that day. “The investigation revealed no evidence to establish beyond a reasonable doubt that the officer willfully committed a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 242,” the Justice Department said in an April 2021 statement.
Reports later revealed that Byrd had refused to participate in any substantive probe of his conduct on January 6. Not only did Byrd escape criminal charges or any internal reprimand, he is still employed as head of security for the House of Representatives and heralded as a hero in many quarters, including the national news media.
Byrd was cleared not because he was innocent but because he shot and killed a Trump supporter, someone considered a subhuman terrorist by the Biden regime.
At the same time the civil rights division exonerated Byrd of any wrongdoing, the office was investigating a Louisville police officer for allegedly violating the civil rights of a Black Lives Matter protester during riots in that city following the police-involved deaths of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd. Louisville, Taylor’s hometown, was rocked by nights of violent protests resulting in millions of dollars in damages. Seven people were shot on the evening of May 28, 2020; rioters vandalized government buildings and looted stores downtown while attacking officers attempting to restore order.
One of those officers was Cory Evans, a member of the Louisville Police Department. A former Army special forces operative with a tour in Afghanistan, Evans was part of the department’s special response team to deal with large crowds or political protests, which included the BLM riots over Memorial Day weekend 2020.
In June 2021, the same civil rights division of the U.S Department of Justice that cleared Officer Michael Byrd for killing Ashli Babbitt charged Evans with one count of violating the civil rights of a violent BLM activist.
Following two nights of looting and destruction, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer imposed a dusk-to-dawn citywide curfew to curb the violence. (In December 2020, Fischer declared racism a “public health crisis.”) Here is how federal prosecutors described the scene in Louisville as BLM rioters attempted to tear down the city: “Officers were at times struck with objects thrown by civilians. Civilians engaged in vandalism and other acts of property damage, including attempting to set fire to the state courthouse.”
Of course, the siege of the city was far worse than the Justice Department described it. Rioters refused to retreat, so Evans and his team were dispatched to downtown Louisville to enforce the curfew.
Late in the evening of May 30, the fourth night of unrest, Evans and his team followed a group of protesters violating curfew. A man only identified as “M.C.” in federal charging documents was part of the mob. Police ordered the rioters to “get down on the ground,” at which point M.C. allegedly submitted to the commands. He was arrested for rioting in the first degree, unlawful assembly, and breaking curfew.
In the course of M.C.’s arrest, prosecutors claim Evans struck the rioter on the back of the skull with a riot stick, causing him to bleed from the head. The blow, according to the government, required three staples in M.C.’s head and led to hearing loss for a week and other related health problems.
M.C., who is white, filed a complaint with the department one week after his arrest. An internal investigation to prove Evans actually hit M.C. was inconclusive based on body camera footage (Evans’ camera was not operating that night) and largely revolved around hearsay.
But Joe Biden’s newly configured Justice Department—which included the appointment of Kristen Clarke, who has a history of racist comments, as head of the civil right division—took over the investigation and subsequently charged Evans with “depriving M.C. of his Constitutional right to be free from unreasonable force by a law enforcement officer.”
In an interview earlier this week, Evans told me that the account offered by the government is inaccurate.
“Several FBI investigators went through all the body cam footage for about 70 riot officers trying to find evidence against me,” he said. “They found a split second [of video] where I tackled the guy. No one said I hit him, no footage showed he was hit.”
Evans’ defense lawyers told him that the powers-that-be in Washington directed the assistant U.S. attorney in the western district of Kentucky “to make this happen.” Investigators threatened to scour past use-of-force investigations—Evans had 10 complaints filed against him—and build a compelling case of systematic brutality before a grand jury that would “put me away forever,” Evans told me. (This happened during the trial and sentencing of Minneapolis police officer Dererk Chauvin, who also was charged with violating George Floyd’s civil rights.)
So, the father of two young boys accepted the government’s offer to plead guilty to the federal civil rights charge in August.
The charges against M.C., meanwhile, were dropped and his record expunged.
In a November sentencing motion, prosecutors asked for a prison sentence of four years for Evans as both punishment and deterrence.
“The specific circumstances of Defendant Evans’ crime necessitate an adequate sentence of imprisonment,” Michael A. Bennett, the U.S. attorney handling the case, wrote. “Officers are taught to avoid blows to the head unless involved in a lethal force situation. This is because blows to the head can result in death or serious bodily injury. The victim received staples in his head and lost hearing in his left ear for a week. However, his injuries could have easily been worse—or fatal. Our society cannot condone such conduct. Federal law forbids it.”
Ashli Babbitt was unavailable for comment.
Earlier this month, Judge Rebecca Grady Jennings sentenced Evans to two years in prison and two years probation and ordered him to pay $1,962 in restitution. “Former officer Evans abused his authority by violently retaliating against a surrendering arrestee who had been exercising his First Amendment rights during a demonstration in Louisville, during the racial justice demonstrations in the spring of 2020,” Kristen Clarke wrote in a statement after the sentence was announced. “The Justice Department will continue to hold accountable officers who violate their oath and the Constitution.”
That is not actually the case—but facts and fairness are of no interest to Clarke or any Biden apparatchik.
In the double-standard, vengeful, race-baiting world of Biden’s Justice Department, prosecutors are dismissing cases against 2020 rioters, arguing for reduced jail sentences for convicted rioters, and charging police officers allegedly involved in civil rights violations during those riots while systematically rounding up hundreds of nonviolent Americans for any participation in the January 6 protest, denying bail to dozens of offenders, and exonerating at least one police officer clearly responsible for depriving a Trump supporter of not just her rights, but her life.
Evans, meanwhile, was forced to resign from the police department and is awaiting orders to report to prison.
“I am a political prisoner of the Democratic Party,” Evans told me.
And that’s exactly how the Justice Department wants it.