Harassing Dancers a Job Perk for San Diego Cops

According to the San Diego Reader, Cheetah’s strip club in San Diego is now fighting its license revocation. We’ve been following this story since March when the San Diego Police detained all of the dancers at Cheetah’s and took photos of them undressed so they could “catalog their tattoos.” (Links to prior articles below.) None of the dancers were being investigated for crimes, nor was the strip club being investigated for any violations.

The police claimed that because they have the right to photograph the tattoos of criminals for identification purposes, they were allowed to photograph the tattoos of dancers in strip clubs for identification purposes in case any of them ever committed any crimes in the future.

The dancers then filed a $1.5 million lawsuit against the cops, claiming human rights violations. And after the dancers filed their suit, the city revoked Cheetah’s business license, claiming the club had violated regulations. Cheetah’s attorney claims the club’s business license revocation was simply retaliation against the club for its dancers filing a lawsuit against the city.

Now, four months later, the San Diego Police Department is claiming that the reason for the license revocation was that lap dancers were violating the city’s “no touch” policy. The owner of Cheetah’s, Suzanna Cou, claims the police department had an almost constant presence in the club after the suit was filed, with undercover cops getting lap dances to see if they could entrap dancers by getting them to allow touching.

Writer Walter Mencken, in the Reader’s “SD on the QT” satire section, quotes San Diego Police Chief, Shelley Zimmerman, with the police department’s side of the story:

“Our city’s budget woes have made it impossible for us to offer police salaries that make us competitive with other California departments. So we’ve been attempting to sweeten the pot with various perks. One of those is a rotating spot on the city’s vice squad — specifically, the unit that checks for strip clubs’ compliance with the city’s no-touch policy. It’s proven to be far and away our most popular program. So Ms. Cou is correct: there have indeed been undercover officers in her club on a nearly constant basis of late, requesting lap dances and the like. But their presence is in no way related to her suit against the department following last March’s raid.”

Sounds about like how it works.

If you’d like a few more of the juicy details on this story, see our past articles:

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

2 Responses to “Harassing Dancers a Job Perk for San Diego Cops”

  1. Arnold Snyder

    Here’s how weird the situation has gotten with trusting the police these days: When I first read this story online, I thought it was a true story. The other stuff about what happened at Cheetah’s is all true. The cops really did detain a couple dozen dancers in the club dressing room so they could photograph them nude–ostensibly so they could get pics of all their tattoos. Their rationalization was that if any of the dancers ever became criminals, they would already have their tats on file. And the dancers really did file a $1.5 million lawsuit against the cops. The only part of the story that Walter Mencken made up was the police chief’s explanation for why the cops “raided” the strip club in March, and to me Mencken’s fanatsy explanation sounds 100% plausible.

  2. jj solari

    i have yet to meet a police officer who was not a complete deranged sociopathic sadist. you can quote me. frankly i am surprised they are interested in women at all so that’s the actually shocking part of this article.



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