About 30 exotic dancers are filing a joint lawsuit Wednesday against the San Diego Police Department alleging harassment during a club raid in March.
The lawsuit claims police violated their rights during a raid March 6 raid at Cheetahs Gentleman’s Club in Kearny Mesa. Employees said 10 officers swarmed the building with guns and bulletproof vests, interrupting business for hours.
"I didn't know if it was a bank robbery or serial killer on the loose the way they had come in like that," manager Rich Buonantony said at the time.
The lawsuit is being filed by attorney Dan Gilleon.
Surveillance video showed the dancers lining up to get their pictures taken. Dancers said officers took revealing photos of their tattoos and claimed they were held against their will.
"They asked us for our licenses and then took down our Social Security and had us line up in the back of the dressing rooms and take pictures," stripper Katelynn Delorie told 10News in March.
The lawsuit follows a tort claim filed against the city by the dancers. Dancers from another Kearny Mesa club, Expose, also filed a claim of their own related to a raid that also occurred on March 6. That claim was also filed by Gilleon.
At the time, San Diego police released the following statement:
"One of the many responsibilities of the San Diego Police Department’s Vice Unit is to conduct random inspections of strip clubs to ensure dancers are complying with the law and that they have an entertainers permit. In most cases, Vice Unit detectives do not require or request clubs to shut down. Photographs of the entertainers permit and the person in possession of it are taken for investigative purposes."