4 April, 2018
Suit claims raid of popular strip club in Atlanta was illegal
Article witten by SCN. Additional content from ajc.com.
Follies, a popular strip club on Buford Highway, is suing the city of Chamblee over what the owners call an illegal late-night raid.
The suit, filed last week in DeKalb County Superior Court, doesn't dispute that the city's code allows searches of businesses that serve alcohol. However, the club's owners claim the Feb. 17 raid was excessive because of number of police officers used and the disturbance to business at 12:45 a.m., which is "peak hours."
The police declined to comment because the litigation is pending.
The suit claims officers violated the fourth amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which protects against unreasonable searches.
"Officers blocked the front and back exits, causing fear and confusion among patrons and employees, especially those customers who wanted or needed to leave," the suit alleges. "The City's police cars were stationed outside Follies with blue lights activated. Five or more masked officers entered the club wearing tactical gear including body armor and with holstered weapons."
The suit alleges that no one was able to leave the establishment until 2 a.m., when the officers left after confirming all workers were properly licensed.
Follies states the officers had no reason to suspect they'd need an "overwhelming police presence" to conduct the search.
The lawsuit points out that the club previously won a case against DeKalb County for a similar police raid that took place in 2013, before Follies was annexed into the city.
Also in the suit, the club claims it was not given notice that the city had decided this year to change last call from 3 a.m. to 2 a.m. from Monday to Saturday.
Follies is seeking damages to be determined at trial and attorney fees.