Why Did Armed Officers Raid a Strip Club and Take Photos? Don’t Cops Have Better Things to Do?!

Ten armed officers stand poised for action outside a building. What kind of hardened thugs might be lurking inside? Murderers? Rapists? How about unlicensed strippers?

Earlier this month, San Diego Police Department officers raided a Cheetahs strip club to bust any dancers who weren’t properly permitted.

"I didn't know if it was a bank robbery or serial killer on the loose the way they had come in like that," said manager Rich Buonantony. "The show of force, show of power was incredible."

The officers were so committed to the operation that they spent hours meticulously documenting all 30 dancers’ paperwork and bodies (with cameras, of course!).

"They made me feel like I was a gang member pretty much and they wanted to document every single one of my tattoos," said stripper Katelynn Delorie.

Yes, this is the same San Diego where the mayor and police chief have recently resigned amid a variety of sex scandals. Mayor Bob “Feel ‘Em Up” Filner’s scandals were of his own making, while Chief William Lansdowne oversaw a department beset by scandals involving officers, such as Christopher Hays, who faces felony charges for groping and illegally detaining women and Anthony Arevalos who is serving time for his habit of demanding sexual favors from women he pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving.

So, while they’re on the clock, maybe San Diego’s finest could ignore the neighborhood strippers and keep their eyes on each other instead.

1 minute, 45 seconds.

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"Don't Cops Have Better Things to Do?" is written and directed by Ted Balaker (@tedbalaker). Produced by and motion graphics by Matt Edwards (@MattChrisEd). Music by audionautix.com and "The Contessa" is by Maurice and the Beejays (Magnatune Records).

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  • ||

    California makes strippers get stripper licenses?

  • tarran||

    It's a public safety issue; in 1886 an improperly removed corset blinded five men in the second row of the audience of a burlesque house in Salt Lake City.

  • Certified Public Asskicker||

    I was in a club once, and the dancer did a horrifying trick (IMO) where she inserted her heel into her lady bit.

    A permit would have stopped this monster!

  • sarcasmic||

    Doesn't sound like a lady to me.

  • ||

    Doesn't sound horrifying to me.

  • sarcasmic||

    Doesn't sound very hygienic to me.

  • Certified Public Asskicker||

    Yeah, I am a bit of a clean freak, so that's all I could think of.

    Of course, I guess it would have ruined her routine if she had stopped to sanitize the heel first.

  • Paul.||

    California makes everyone get everything licenses.

  • Henry the Twooth||

    I hope you got a license to make that statement or you'll have a SWAT team at your door.

  • Ron||

    A permit to be a stripper?

  • Pavlov's Cat||

    The Land of Fruits and Nuts and Flakes!
    That's why I moved "back east." You can't take a whiz without a permit.

  • Ken Shultz||

    It may have been about the conditional use permit of the club owner, which is like a zoning thing.

    They usually force strip clubs into industrial areas, where no one can see them, and they have all sorts of conditions attached to the use permit.

  • Pavlov's Cat||

    Nope, the pictures were to match the permits with the holders.

  • sarcasmic||

    Ken never lets the facts get in the way of an argument.

  • Ken Shultz||

    It was pure speculation on my part, but it was based on what's happened in the past, there.

    See my post below.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Oh, and it's highly likely that the CUP, as one of its conditions, requires dancers to have an entertainers permit.

    That would be a condition which breaking would give the city the justification to revoke the CUP holder's permit.

    Why wouldn't they have a condition to revoke a CUP for having underage dancers, etc.? That's probably the main justification for requiring them to get an entertainer's permit.

  • pan fried wylie||

    Because having a photocopy of their driver's license on file just isn't revenue-generating enough.

  • Robert||

    What incentive would the operator have to substitute ringers for the actual licensed strippers? Oh, I get it: The license commands a premium, as opposed to the scab strippers, who work cheap.

  • Pavlov's Cat||

    Why Did Armed Officers Raid Strip Club and Take Photos? Don’t Cops Have Better Things to Do?!

    You know, the taking pictures is the one part of this story that seems natural to me.

  • sarcasmic||

    Well, this is totally legit! I mean, how can anyone possibly know that these strippers are real strippers unless they have proper paperwork from the government? These brave officers are saving customers from the possibility of encountering a fake stripper! Protect and serve!

  • pan fried wylie||

    How are they supposed to enforce the continuing education requirements without licenses/permits, huh, smart guy?

  • Ken Shultz||

    When I hear about Cheetah's, the first thing that comes to my mind? Is that this might be about some political insider thing we haven't really heard about.

    Cheetah's was at the center of Operation G-String, which involved Clark County officials (Las Vegas) and City of San Diego officials taking hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes from the owner of Cheetah's.

    "Michael Galardi – Strip club owner of Jaguars and Cheetah's strip clubs. Galardi admitted that he had paid various public officials between $200,000 and $400,000.[3]"


    When a lucrative thing like a Conditional Use Permit is left up to the arbitrary decision of city officials, it shouldn't be surprising that people who want to keep those lucrative CUPs active would be tempted to make it worth a city official's while.

    Like I said, I don't know anything about this, but considering how much we know from the scandal about how this has worked in the past, somebody should dig to see if somebody forgot to pay their bills.

    Nobody wants their wife to know they got detained in Cheetah's during a raid--a raid is sure to drive business away. And we know what's happened in the past.

  • pan fried wylie||

    Rather than paying bribes, which fails as soon as you skip a payment, maybe the owner of cheetah's would have been better served spending money on getting some libertarians elected to the city council.

    Eh, who am I kidding....

  • Robert||

    Wouldn't it be easier to invest in a marginally competitive candidate (i.e. close elections) who says nothing publicly but is beholden to you?

  • John C. Randolph||

    I think it would be more cost-effective to hire private eyes to assemble dossiers on the politicians involved. "Gee, councilman... I don't *want* to alert the media to your penchant for dressing up in a gimp suit and having a 500-pound broad drop her thigh flaps on your face, but if you don't quit fucking with me, the video hits the net."


  • Henry the Twooth||

    Economists have a more general term for "conditional use permits", called "rent-seeking". I.e. making money without creating value.


  • Agile Cyborg||

    The stripper industry is on the moral border of sex-trafficking and visual rape. Because of their proximity to downright evil and the anti-social, strippers and their bosses must be oppressed accordingly by the moralizing overlords and their minion swine.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    "Officer, is that a battering ram in your BDUs or are you just happy to creep me?"

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    BDUs? You're showing your age.

  • Swiss Servator, mehr Sprüngli||


    /militarized cops

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Tactical pants or combat fatigues I suppose could have just as well conveyed the apparent militarism of the vice team. Or maybe in my scenario the dancers were a little long in the tooth.

  • nailzer||

    If LA vice cops are tackling strip clubs the next thing should be bar tenders since drinking is a bigger vice than watching strippers.
    Photograph every bartender, their tattoos, and any identifiable markings on their body just in case they try to serve underage drinkers.
    Next anyone that sells tobacco products over the counter.
    LA's finest in action.

  • Freedom Frog||

    How's the buffet?

  • BoscoH||


  • bassjoe||

    Hey, in Hawaii, it's completely legal for a PO to have sex with a prostitute then arrest the prostitute for prostituting...

  • Paul.||

    Had the strip club been named Cougar's, I'd have clicked the link.

  • ||

    Texas teen gives police officer parking ticket


    Annie James, a 14-year-old from Baytown, Tex., issued a handwritten $10 parking ticket to Officer Tommy King, whose patrol car was parked in a fire zone in the Bay Oaks apartment complex.


    Not only did the officer pay the fine — he gave Annie a $40 gift card to Toys R Us.

    "Turns out we're both from Alabama and end up in Texas," King said. "It's interesting ... I made a friend. A lesson would be not to be shy or afraid of law enforcement. We're here to help."


    I feel so warm & fuzzy from the lesson that I'll start to issue 'tickets' to cops when I see them talking on their cell phones while prowling, when they don't use their signals at turns or at lane changes, when they turn on their dome lights just to run a red light and turn it immediately off past the intersection ... and I expect gift cards, too. I'm not a 14-year-old girl, but that shouldn't make any difference, now should it?

  • Paul.||

    Hmm, sounds like a decent cop.

    He'll be fired soon.

  • John C. Randolph||

    I'm pretty goddamned sick of Barney Fife dressing up as a soldier and storming into situations that could trivially be handled by one asthmatic apparatchik with a fucking clipboard.


  • CPAC Shakur||

    I know I Frankenstein bombed but damn, poor Eckhart.....

  • Firstname||

    This is just the "tip of the iceberg" as there is now a DOJ investigation and an FBI criminal investigation of the San Diego Police Department. They have been extremely corrupt and out of control for years now and the new police chief (not qualified to be) is only making things worse by doing these idiotic things.

  • Suicidy||

    This crap is why I always vote against any ballot measure regarding police funding. They always save time to screw around and never have time to deal with property crime. I would be far better off if I could just dispense my own justice and use force as I see fit.

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