As a taxpayer I have to ask....WHY? San Diego Police is showing a heavy hand.... in permit regulation. The girls dance. The girls probably push the bill in the VIP room. If there was drug or prostitution charges to be made it would have been in the news. You would be better off sending two young cops in there to see if you can get a sting if you were pulling the permit.
I understand the city can regulate permits. Coming in with a slew of police and detaining a whole group of people. I just wonder if the taxpayers want so many resources in stripper permit regulation.
If Cheetahs was a San Diego hole in the wall I can see a possible danger for some other issues (like human traffic). It is amazing that San Diego Police claims that is a reason for their sweep and detention for "Permit Regulation".
It will be interesting to see why the city is pulling the permit. Is it substance or retaliation?
San Diego officers took their entertainer permits, took down their social security numbers and took pictures of their tattoos. The exotic dancers said the several-hour incident caused great emotional distress, and so what was a claim against the San Diego Police Department several months ago is now a lawsuit.
"I mean, I am a stripper, but I really don't want photographers, I mean like VICE photographers taking photos of me and stuff," stated exotic dancer Brittany Murphy. "I would just like an apology and to move on from it."
Murphy wants the San Diego Police Department to apologize for a raid at Cheetahs, where she and other dancers were hoarded into a locker room, lined up, told to strip down, interrogated and photographed. She and 29 other dancers at Cheetahs and Expose say they were violated and disrespected, and now they've filed a civil suit against the city of San Diego and Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman.
What if the jury awards $50,000 or $100,000 each? That's a lot of money, all because they find the 4th Amendment inconvenient," said attorney Dan Gilleon representing the dancers.
Gilleon says the officers not only violated the dancers' right to be free from unreasonable searches, but also the Anti-Paparazzi Law which says you cannot hold a person against their will and take their picture. Since the raid in March, the city has come down on Cheetahs, Gilleon says, by taking away their nude entertainment permit. And now Gilleon is representing Cheetahs as they try to stay open.
"There's no human trafficking, no prostitution, no drug rings, they're about to shut us down for touching," declared general manager of Cheetahs Rich Buonantony.
And if this club is shut down, Buonantony says 500 people will be out of work.
"We have women who work here who are teachers, lawyers - girls who've started their own businesses because of this place. They would have never gotten that opportunity if it wasn't for here."
And there's the ACLU letter to Police Chief Zimmerman asking her to retrain police officers on "the limits of their authority in conducting inspections of businesses and detaining employees."
SDPD responded to the lawsuit Wednesday, saying "these inspections (of nude establishments) occur on a consistent basis throughout the year to ensure that all clubs and dancers are following the law."
And they say they are doing an internal investigation into what happened at Cheetahs that night in March. Cheetahs can stay open while they appeal the revocation of their permit.
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