25 adult dancers at the Cheetahs strip club in San Diego, Calif., have filed a complaint against the city.
A complaint is the first step before filing a lawsuit, which appears to be on its way.
The strippers claim that local police detained them against their will for one hour on March 6 without a warrant or probable cause (video below).
While police inspected the strip club, they took pictures of the strippers' tattoos while the women were in lingerie or nude, reports KPBS.
The women’s lawyer, Dan Gilleon, wrote in a court complaint that police "had no legitimate safety concerns, nor were the manner of the detentions commensurate with any articulable threat.''
Gilleon added that police made "arrogant and demeaning comments" as they took photos to "expose body parts."
“We document tattoos because it is a way to identify people,” San Diego Police Lt. Kevin Mayer told U-T San Diego. “Tattoos are a pretty permanent marking on somebody.”
Mayer claimed the pictures are placed in permit files, as the women are required to have adult entertainment permits. The women's fingerprints and social security numbers are already on file.
However, it's not clear if other city permits require photographs of tattoos for other businesses.
“As I opened the door, three officers with bulletproof vests with guns at their hips come running past me to stop the women,” Cheetahs' manager, Rich Buonantony, told Fox 5 San Diego about the inspection on March 6.They are in bras, panties, high heels or nude."
“We have great respect for the police department, but this is not a great position for us to be in right now,” added Buonantony. “I have every walk of life here, and they are being treated like second-class citizens.”