US vice police fired over Stormy Daniels strip-club arrest
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Two US vice squad police officers were fired for wrongfully arresting porn star Stormy Daniels, who has claimed an affair with President Donald Trump, city officials in Columbus, Ohio confirmed on Friday.
Officers Whitney Lancaster and Steven Rosser were ordered dismissed by Columbus Director of Public Safety Ned Pettus on Thursday, according to documents provided by Pettus' office.
Two other officers were suspended for the 2018 strip club arrest of Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, at the Sirens Gentlemen's Club on sexual misdemeanor charges.
Daniels had charged in a lawsuit that she was arrested for political reasons related to her claim before the 2016 election that Trump had sought to buy her silence over an affair a decade earlier, to avoid it affecting his prospects in the presidential contest.
The charges said that, while topless at the club, she pushed the faces of customers into her breasts.
The charges against her were quickly dropped following her detention. But she sued the city for false arrest and false imprisonment and the case was settled in September 2019 for $450,000.
Pettus said in the dismissal orders that the two officers took actions against Daniels that "deviated significantly from actions taken at every other strip club investigated by you."
He pointed out that normally they would file charges against an offender after a club visit and issue a summons for the person's appearance in court, rather than arresting them on the spot and taking them in to custody as they did with Daniels.
"Not a single other suspect was deprived of their rights by being arrested 'On View'... except Ms Clifford, demonstrating gross neglect of duty and incompetence," Pettus wrote.
Prosecutors in New York are investigating payments made to Daniels by Michael Cohen, Trump's former personal attorney who is in prison for violating campaign finance laws.
© 2020 AFP