Thursday, May 3, 2018

Claim filed against IMPD Chief on behalf of Cannabis Church Founder

IMPD Chief Rick Hite,
Gregory Ballard, Mayor of Indianapolis
Gregory F. Zoeller - Indiana Attorney General


RE: Notice of Claim pursuant to Ind. Code 34-13-3 et seq.

Name of Claimant: Bill Levin

Claimant Address: 3400 South Rural

Indianapolis IN 46237

Date of Loss: June 25, 2015

Loss Location: City-County Building, Indianapolis IN

Dear Sir or Madam:

Please be advised that Bill Levin is making claims against you pursuant to the Indiana

Tort Claims Act, Ind. Code 34-13-3 et. seq. On or about June 25, 2015, Mr. Levin sustained

personal injuries, including defamation, injury to his character and reputation, and suffered

emotional distress, as the result of defamatory statements made, by Indianapolis Metropolitan

Police Department Chief Rick Hite, during a press conference. Specifically, Chief Hite said:

“As Jim Jones once did within our state, he led a group of people into a place of no return. We

don’t want that to happen again in this state.” Jim Jones was a minister, originally from

Richmond, Indiana, who moved to Indianapolis where he started The People’s Temple. He

again relocated to California, then to Guyana, where over nine hundred (900) of his followers

died either by murder or suicide.


Chief Hite’s statements were defamatory per se in that he imputed to Mr. Levin’s

character the same or similar traits as those of Jones, one of the most prolific mass murderers in

history. Chief Hite made these statements with knowledge the statements were false or with

reckless disregard of whether one or more of the statements were false or not. The statements

constitute extreme and outrageous conduct that intentionally or recklessly caused and will

continue to cause Mr. Levin extreme emotional distress. The statements also were a slur to Mr.

Levin’s character and good name.


Chief Hite’s statements also constitute a violation of Mr. Levin’s rights, under the First

Amendment to the Constitution of the United States and Article 1 of the Indiana Constitution to

freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of conscience, and right to assembly. An

action for violation of Mr. Levin’s rights, under 42 U.S.C. §1983 is anticipated. We are in the

process of evaluating damages in regard to that action.


The injuries Mr. Levin has suffered and will continue to suffer are injuries for which Mr.

Levin seeks monetary damages. The estimated amount of our clients’ damages to date is

between $25,000.00 and $50,000.00, though the full extent of the injuries, medical expenses, and

pain and suffering is not known at this time. The previously mentioned damage amount is only

an estimate and our client reserves the right to seek additional damages that may become

apparent in the future, up to the statutory limit. The undersigned currently represents Mr. Levin

and can be reached at 317.252.4800. Your prompt attention to this matter is appreciated.


Respectfully,

__________________________

Mark Small, 14656-49

Attorney-at-Law

1915 Broad Ripple Avenue

Indianapolis IN 46220

O: 317.252.4800

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