Following up on a noise complaint with a visit to Coconut Cabaret: A Gentlemen’s Club in Gainesville, Florida, on July 31, 2022, either Cpl. Brooke Shutterly or officer Emma Spaulding claimed to have seen a half-nude woman dancing, which would have violated the county’s laws on nudity.

WUFT, a local news source, reports: “This led to a surprise visit on Aug. 13, 2022, when three GPD officers, Shutterly, Spaulding and officer Tommy Alvin, arrived to perform a surprise inspection…to determine whether the club was in compliance with Gainesville’s rules around public nudity, according to the internal affairs report.”

Claiming that they had received multiple reports of nudity, without being able to verify the reports, the Gainesville policed showed up to the local gentlemen’s club to inspect. For whatever reason, this surprise inspection for nudity compliance included the demand  that at least three female entertainers bend over to have their thongs measured by the police.

The invasive interaction was caught on security footage, and the dancers and club owners subsequently filed five formal complaints with the Gainesville Police Department, prompting an internal affairs investigation.

According to the internal affairs report, the investigation was groundless: The officers’ body camera footage has no indication of nudity at the club, meaning that the club was in no evidenced violation of city laws, and the investigators have stated that the source of the nudity claim could not be determined.

One of three women who was inspected, Alison Robbins, spoke with WUFT about her experience that night.

“It was disgusting…honestly,” Robbins says, “and it really made me feel like I can’t feel protected with the police department here in this town.”

In the body camera footage, another entertainer inspected, Aliyha Nichols, can be heard asking, “I gotta bend over?” Shutterly is then seen pushing the woman down to force her bend over.

“As soon as they said I needed to just stand still, put my hands up and bend over, I wanted to leave,” the third dancer, Brittney Cunningham, says. “I wanted to leave after they left because I didn’t feel like performing anymore.”

Throughout the footage, Shutterly can be seen struggling with the material of the underwear and using her hands to lift and spread the woman’s buttocks to measure the material.

But although the investigation, which concluded in February, found that Shutterly and Alvin’s body cavity searches and strip searches in the field violated GPD policy, the officers were ‘disciplined’ with mere written warning for their illicit conduct.

According to WUFT, “In the footage, the women plead with the officers to allow them to change out of their underwear and hand the items over to be measured.”

“We asked them if we could take them off and change into shorts and just give them the underwear to measure,” Robbins says. “And they said no.”

Shutterly claims in the internal affairs report that she believed it would be quicker if she measured the underwear on their bodies. In the footage, while Shutterly is measuring the women’s underwear, she can be heard making remarks to them, especially to Cunningham, regarding their bodies and line of work.

“I could never do it. I respect you immensely for it. I could never do it,” Shutterly is recorded saying.

When asked in the internal affairs investigation why she made these comments to Cunningham, she replied that Cunningham is “anatomically gifted.”

“I started doing this because I had to,” Cunningham says.

Cunningham describes feeling so violated after the inspection that she was forced to take time off work, losing income, and Nichols shares that she didn’t return to work at all.

“I took two weekends off to just refocus,” Cunningham says, “I felt judged.”

The body camera footage additionally shows the male officer, Alvin, standing inside the room, blocking the exit, and watching the cavity search. Alvin, an armed bystander to the whole event, was not under investigation. The report states that Alvin’s presence was there to serve as backup for the two female officers.

Read the original story here.

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