Strippers file claim against city of San Diego after Kearny Mesa strip club raid

Posted at 6:35 PM, Mar 24, 2014

A group of Kearny Mesa strippers is suing the city of San Diego, alleging police held 25 dancers against their will.

The strippers filed the claim Monday after the March 6 incident. Each stripper is asking for more than $10,000 for loss of income, emotional distress and humiliation.

Surveillance video captured dancers lining up to be photographed as an officer takes their information.

"I felt like it was really, really, like, uncomfortable," said dancer Brittany Murphy.

Police say they were doing a routine inspection to check the dancers' business permits and work cards. Strippers are required to pay a $400 fee to the city each year and it helps police keep tabs on them to make sure they are following all the rules.

Murphy says they went too far, forcing her to be photographed after she objected.

"I don't understand why I have to get my picture taken," she said. "I asked them if it was of my face and they said yes. So, I got up against the locker and [the officer] is standing really far. She's taking a photo of my entire body."

Murphy showed 10News her work card which already had her picture. She says officers would not let them leave and questioned them about personal information.

"I didn't give them my social. I was just like, ‘I don't have it,’" Murphy said.

San Diego Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman would only say the detectives do conduct random inspections.

"As part of a police-regulated business, our vice squad goes in and they regulate police-related businesses," said Zimmerman.

"I think the police department here has a history of pushing the envelope with certain classes like strippers and thinking, 'What are they going to do? Fight back against us?'" said attorney Dan Gilleon.