Former dancers say police were right to raid Chamblee strip club - CBS46 News

Former dancers say police were right to raid Chamblee strip club

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CHAMBLEE, GA (CBS46) -

In a recently filed lawsuit, the owners of Follies Strip Club claim Chamblee police violated their Fourth Amendment rights when they raided the club in February and found no violations. They say the search caused fear and confusion, in part, because the police came in armed and wearing tactical gear.

According to the club's attorney, the February 17 raid was excessive and there was no reasonable basis for it. 

When she heard about the lawsuit, a former dancer at the club had this reaction:

"That seemed pretty outrageous to me, given the amount of weapons they have inside the club," she said. 

The former dancer, who asked to remain anonymous, told CBS46 the club's security openly carries guns every day, but she says it's meant for keeping the money safe, not the women.

"They're not there to protect you from getting molested or raped, like they don't care about that," she said. "The nature of the club is that customers are allowed to do whatever they want to you. You were there to provide more than just a lap dance. It was more than them just looking at you."

That dancer says she quit working at Follies after someone secretly drugged her drink. She escaped from that situation safely, but CBS46 tracked down another woman who says her friend was raped in the club under similar circumstances.

It happened one week after the February raid.

"I tried to talk to the management there, but they just wanted me out of the club until I told them I was going to call the police, then all of the sudden they wanted to handle it, don't call the police," she said. 

The second woman we interviewed, who also wished to remain anonymous, says the dancer called her in distress on Feb 28 and later came to the conclusion she was drugged.

Police arrived and took the woman to a hospital to be tested for rape. So far, there has been no arrest.

The dancer's friend believes the club's lawsuit against police is just a distraction meant to keep police from doing their jobs.

"Everything's out in the open there. It's a big party, and you can't get in any trouble because, hey, the cops can't come in," she said. 

If a business sells alcohol, police and fire marshals are allowed to stop by for an administrative check any time they want without a warrant. It's one of the few exceptions to the Fourth Amendment. The club's ownership argues the February raid went beyond a routine check.

The club is also fighting against a recent ordinance that forces strip clubs and businesses serving alcohol to close earlier.

CBS46 tried to get a response to the lawsuit from Chamblee police, but they're not going to talk about it

We also made multiple requests to the club's ownership and its legal counsel to comment on the lawsuit. They repeatedly turned down our offers to have a conversation on the record, even before the claims from former dancers surfaced. 

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