SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) — Cheetahs exotic dancers said they were in Federal Court Thursday to send a strong message to the City of San Diego and police that their human rights were violated, no matter their profession.
"They asked me to remove my clothes so they can take pics of my tattoos," said "Mallory."
"It's ridiculous," said dancer former dancer "Renee." "They thought it was OK for them to treat us that way."
The two women - two of 30 women, including mothers, who are former and current dancers at Cheetahs Gentleman's Strip Club - say they were treated like common criminals during a raid by San Diego Police.
"They were held against their will not free to leave, documented like gang enforcement treats gang members," said attorney Dan Gilleon.
Gilleon said what happened in 2013 and March 2014 at the totally nude entertainment club turned heads for different reasons.
All was caught on surveillance camera, in Cheetahs locker room in Kearny Mesa and made national headlines. Gilleon said the women were illegally detained while their tattoos were photographed during a VICE raid.
"They wouldn't let us leave and held us against their will and a lot of them needed to be with their children," said "Mallory."
"We document things that help with our investigation and help us identify people because tattoos, for example, have cleared people," said San Diego Police Lt. Scott Wahl.
They believe it was retaliation after the city's long history of trying to shut down the club due to violations of "no fondling, no groping" laws, according to the city attorney.
Gilleon said the raid disregarded the 4th amendment, which prohibits illegal searches and seizures and claims the City is hiding behind its municipal code and dancing around the amendment.
"This about telling the City of San Diego, that you cannot violate women's rights because you don't think they will fight back," Gilleon said.
These women says it's about justice and won't settle for less.
"It's not about the money," said "Mallory." "I make plenty of money at work. I want them to stop doing what they're doing."
No settlement was reached Thursday.
A spokesperson for the city said they are barred from discussing what happens in the settlement conference.
Both sides are due back in court in May.
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