Former San Diego Vice Cop Weighs in on Harassment of Strip Clubs

According to the San Diego Reader, San Diego’s vice cops continue to harass dancers at Cheetahs, a nude club in the Kearney Mesa suburb. We’ve been following this story since March of last year when the dancers at Cheetahs sued the city for $1.5 million for human rights violations.

In that case, the dancers were held in the club’s dressing room for hours while the cops photographed them naked, claiming the photos were required for identification purposes and they needed to catalog all of the dancers’ tattoos. None of the dancers were being investigated for a crime.

San Diego responded to the dancers’ lawsuit by revoking the club’s business license. Cheetahs then followed up with a lawsuit of their own, claiming the city was retaliating because of the suit filed by the dancers. Links to TVO’s former articles are below.

Some of the code violations cited by the city include things like “approximately 30 percent of her nipple was showing through her bra” and “The shirt was cut too short and the bottom half of her breasts jutted out beneath her shirt.” In 25 years of operation, Cheetahs has never had any kind of an actual prostitution bust.

According to a former vice detective who spoke to the San Diego Reader, the vice cops use undercover operations as an excuse to party and spend taxpayer dollars on booze and private dances. He’s quoted as saying:

“Vice unit is a club, people line up and join vice. There are detectives that go drinking every night. When they decide to target a place they’ll send in vice cops, narcotics, code compliance to find violations. Once they get a hard-on, they will do whatever they need to do.”

When the San Diego Reader attempted to obtain information from the police department on how much money the cops were spending on booze and lap dances in strip clubs, the cops responded:

“The amount spent during these covert operations is part of investigations conducted by [San Diego Police Department] and part of investigatory filed for licensing purposes. They are exempt from disclosure….

Your request for complaints made to the Police Department regarding Cheetahs is also exempt from disclosure.

In addition, disclosure of the information requested is against the public interest because there is a necessity for preserving the confidentiality of the information that outweighs the necessity for disclosure in the interest of justice.”

Once again, San Diego is in the running for TVO’s 2015 Most Corrupt City Award.

See our prior articles on this misuse of taxpayers’ money:

Strippers Sue San Diego Cops

San Diego Rejects Strippers Complaint

San Diego Strippers $1.5 Million Suit

San Diego Revokes License of Strip Club Whose Dancers Sued Cops


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