Exotic dancers who claim they were held against their will and photographed by The San Diego Area law enforcement officers during a compliance raid can progress with their lawsuit, a federal judge ruled this week.
The 24 dancers, who may have worked in the Cheetahs or Expose strip clubs, claim the officers violated their constitutional rights during the raids July 15, 2013, and March 6, 2014.
In line with the complaint, five to 15 law enforcement officers went along to the clubs in the early-evening hours and ordered the san diego strippers in a dressing room, where these folks were told to wait patiently until called, the lawsuit said.
The officers then questioned the dancers, who were scantily clad, checked their city-issued adult entertainer permits, asked about tattoos or piercings and photographed them.
The lawsuit claims several of the officers “made arrogant and demeaning comments on the entertainers and ordered those to expose areas of the body to make sure they could ostensibly photograph their tattoos.”
The dancers repeat the process lasted over 1 hour, and whenever several asked if they could leave, police threatened them with arrest and stationed officers at the exits, the suit says.
Lawyers for The San Diego Area police asked the judge to dismiss the lawsuit, saying the search and seizure was reasonable as laid out with the city’s permitting law, that allows police inspections of adult entertainment businesses. Police have stated that cataloging tattoos is a simple approach to identify dancers who regularly change their appearances.
“Submitting photographs and providing identification during reasonable inspections, to prevent losing a permit, is qualitatively different than stripping to undergarments, huddling within a dressing room for up to one hour, and submitting to some photo shoot that involved the exposure of intimate areas of the body, to prevent arrest,” he wrote.
The judge can also be allowing the lawsuit to visit forward over a false-imprisonment claim along with a Monell claim, which could hold supervisors accountable for the actions of lower-ranking officers if 70dexmpky can be proven that the behavior was part of an extensive-standing custom or practice throughout the Police Department.
While the judge agreed with the city that three raids within a year don’t amount to a “long-standing” or “widespread” practice, the judge also cited comments from a police spokesman who told the media that such raids were routine.