SAN DIEGO (CBS Sacramento) – Dancers at a San Diego strip club say their civil rights were violated when police officers detained them and took revealing pictures of their tattoos, reports KNSD-TV.
Ten San Diego cops raided Cheetahs Gentlemen’s Club earlier this month. SDPD says the raid was to check the dancing permits of about 30 strippers.
According to the civil rights claim, the officers held the dancers for about an hour without a warrant or probable cause.
Then the cops ordered the girls to pose in various positions in order to photograph the tattoos on their bodies.
The claim says the officers made“arrogant and demanding comments” and ordered the women to “smile.”
“I got my pictures taken from at least my knees upwards, and I’m half dressed. I felt kind of violated and like my rights were not there,” dancer Brittany Murphy told KNSD.
SDPD spokesman Lt. Kevin Mayer told the station the officers were following standard procedure and did not do anything inappropriate
“The city municipal code mandates that the police department go out and conduct these inspections. Now to be an adult entertainer or to own a strip club, those are both police regulated businesses, and to be in that profession you have to get a permit,” said Mayer.
Nude dancers in San Diego County are required to have an adult dancing permit and renew it every year with a new photo.
Mayer said documenting dancers’ tattoos is needed because those can be changed after a dancer gets his or her permit.
Dancers’ work permits are only good for a year, and photos and finger prints are taken each year when the permits are renewed.
Lt. Kevin Mayer said this officers’ procedure is standard protocol and that they did not do anything inappropriate that night.
But the claim also says officers forced dancers to disclose personal information like their addresses and social security numbers.
Cheetahs manager Rich Buonantony said his dancers were forced to act against their will because if they refused to cooperate, their work permits and business licenses could be confiscated.
The claim filed against the SDPD is for more than $10,000, though an exact dollar amount has not been released.
Dan Gilleon, who is representing 25 of the dancers, says he expects the civil claim will be denied, after which he will file a lawsuit.
(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)