To hear Suzanna Cou tell it, Cheetah's strip club is being punished for standing up for its rights. The club filed suit against the San Diego Police Department after a March vice raid on the facility. The suit claims that the dancers were detained for hours, and in some cases, photographed in the nude by the officers — you know, for descriptive purposes. Shortly after filing suit, the club received notice that its license had been revoked for violations of the city's infamous no-touch policy. Cou thinks Cheetah's was targeted because it dared to push back, and points to the "nearly constant presence of police" in the club, "getting lap dances, propositioning the girls. They set us up."
But according to SDPD Chief Shelley Zimmerman, Cou is only half right.
"Our city's budget woes have made it impossible for us to offer police salaries that make us competitive with other California departments," explains Zimmerman. "So we've been attempting to sweeten the pot with various perks. One of those is a rotating spot on the city's vice squad — specifically, the unit that checks for strip clubs' compliance with the city's no-touch policy. It's proven to be far and away our most popular program. So Ms. Cou is correct: there have indeed been undercover officers in her club on a nearly constant basis of late, requesting lap dances and the like. But their presence is in no way related to her suit against the department following last March's raid."
This reporter then asked why there had not been a similar license suspension at EyeCandy in Chula Vista, especially given the fact that the club's owner has stated on the record that he is happy to ignore no-touch regulations. "Simple," she replied. "Have you seen the girls at EyeCandy? Just ew. Remember, this is supposed to be a perk."