Nick Bernabe | The Anti-Media
The San Diego Police Department is once again coming under scrutiny after 25 exotic dancers filed suit against the department for violating their civil rights. Image credit: cheetahssd.com
The Dancers, from Cheetahs Gentlemen’s Club, claim that officers detained them against their will and took demeaning photos of them during a routine permit inspection
According to the lawsuit, during the permit check process, 10 unidentified officers detained the dancers under no stated suspicion and began photographing the dancers against their will for roughly one hour.
According to a NBC San Diego news report,
“They ordered the women to pose in various positions and expose their body so the police could photograph their tattoos, all the while making “arrogant and demanding comments” and telling the women to “smile,” the claim states.”
Here’s a quick breakdown of the events at the strip club from Reason TV
While a SDPD spokesman stated “Any peace officer shall have free access to any police-regulated business during normal operating hours”, the manager of Cheetah’s said that police have committed these types abuses in the past as well.
The police abused their power under threat of revoking the dancers’ licensing if they failed to comply with the police.
Journalist Radley Balko has this to say about the incident:
“So this was a regulatory operation. But instead of sending a few bureaucrats to do the paperwork, the city of San Diego thought it appropriate to send a team of gun-toting cops to raid the place (similar to recent masked, militarized SWAT raids on massage parlors). Remember, according to the report, there was no suspicion of criminal activity here. This was a routine inspection. Which raises the question: Are all routine, regulatory inspections of San Diego businesses done with raid teams? Is it just strip clubs? Are strippers known for being dangerous? And if the photos were necessary for record-keeping purposes, why was it necessary to photograph the women while they weren’t wearing clothing?”(WaPo)
The lawsuit seeks at least $10,000 in civil rights damages although the exact amount is still unknown.
These new accusations are nothing new for the San Diego Police Department, where two other officers have been recently accused of sexual misconduct. The SDPD’s previous police chief just resigned amid the recent outbreak of scandals, possibly to avoid being caught in the corruption investigations.
The Justice Department is opening a probe into the SDPD with possible criminal charges to be filed.
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