Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Allegedly Forced To Strip, Strippers Sue Police

One Dancer Says He Felt 'Violated'

POSTED: 5:27 pm EDT May 16, 2006
UPDATED: 6:15 pm EDT May 16, 2006
Source -local 6.com
BALTIMORE -- Three strippers are suing the Maryland Transportation Authority Police Department for $5 million.

WBAL-TV in Baltimore reported that three male exotic dancers insist they were wrongly arrested and taken advantage of by officers.

The police stopped the three men on March 4 for a speeding violation. The men said the officers ordered them out of their sport utility vehicle, forced them to strip and confiscated $10,000 in cash that the dancers said they earned in tips.

The defense claims the officers required the men to strip and pose for full-body pictures. The officers charged the men with misdemeanor drug possession offenses. Baltimore prosecutors confirmed for WBAL-TV that judges later dropped those charges.

"I feel very violated. Not only did he make us take our clothes off, but before asking me to take my clothes off, he said, 'I'm not gay.' That's very uncomfortable," said Edward Cloyd, one of the three dancers.

Simms reported the officers stopped the SUV at Fort McHenry tunnel because the female driver was speeding. The men had just finished a job in Philadelphia and said they were en route to Washington, D.C., for another performance.

"The police officer used the power of the state to force my clients -- who didn’t have a choice -- to take their clothes off. That's not part of their regular policy and procedures, that's not how it's done," said Jimmy Bell, the dancers' attorney.

WBAL-TV learned that it appears an MdTA officer informed a prosecutor April 18 that almost $10,000 was seized from the group, but that fact does not appear in the statement of probable cause for the arrests.

"Anyone could make accusation in a lawsuit. We just heard about hits (Tuesday) ourselves, so our internal affairs unit will investigate this," MdTA police Cpl. Pamela Thorne said.

An MdTA representative told the 11 News I-Team that the department's research indicates $9,645 was put in the bank on March 15, which is 11 days after the traffic stop.

The representative also said no request has been made to get the money back

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