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State trooper sues after incident with city officer

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The Indiana State Police detective involved in a physical confrontation with an Indianapolis Metropolitan Police deputy chief in August 2010 in the deputy chief’s office has filed a lawsuit claiming false arrest and assault and battery.

Master Trooper Detective Wayne Billings went to IMPD Deputy Chief William Benjamin’s office in downtown Indianapolis while Billings was in the City-County Building for an appointment. He told the City-County Building employee that he was law enforcement, which allowed him to have access to Benjamin’s office.

Billings had received threatening phone calls and voicemails regarding his relationship with a woman and he believed Benjamin was the person making those calls. He hid a recorder on himself.

According to the suit, Benjamin first did not know who Billings was, but later became upset when Billings mentioned the woman. Billings claimed he told the officer he must have the wrong person and tried to leave, but was prevented by Benjamin. Billings claimed Benjamin forcibly grabbed Billings as he tried to leave and later shoved him against a wall. Benjamin called for other officers to help him.

Billings claims he constantly identified himself as a state trooper. The other IMPD officers took his gun and his official ISP identification and Billings was held handcuffed in an interview room. He was later released but police took the recorder. According to the suit, Benjamin became enraged when discovering the recorder on Billings and accused Billings of “setting him up.”

Billings was placed on administrative duty by ISP after the incident. He was suspended for two days for using his police authority in a personal matter.

Now, Billings is suing, claiming his constitutional rights were violated, he was falsely arrested and imprisoned, and he was assaulted. He is also suing for recovery under Indiana Code 34-24-3-1 due to criminal confinement and abuse of process. The suit, Wayne E. Billings v. Deputy Chief William Benjamin, in his official and individual capacities, No. 1:11-CV-748, was filed June 3 and includes IMPD Chief of Police Paul R. Ciesielski and Major Christopher Boomershine, as well as other IMPD officers and personnel, as defendants. The case is before Judge Tanya Walton Pratt in the Indianapolis Division of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana.

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