The Tasty nightclub raid refers to an August 7, 1994 incident at the Tasty nightclub held at the Commerce Club in Flinders Lane, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. All up, 463 patrons were strip searched by police wearing rubber gloves and carrying guns.

Two people were arrested for minor drug offenses but all charges were dismissed.

The forced strip search was particularly humiliating for the transgender patrons. Full nudity was required and the search was performed in public view.

The incident led to successful legal action against the Victoria Police force with damages of well over AUD$10,000,000 awarded to the patrons. The class action was run by Gary Singer who went on to become Deputy Lord Mayor of the City of Melbourne.

In retrospect it has become a historic and legal precedent limiting the powers of police search in Victoria. For the first time, Police around the world were put on notice that they are responsible for their actions.

The Age published a photograph of the scene on their front page "Hands against the wall", causing much political fallout and embarrassment to the police force.

The club had a reputation for its casual atmosphere and partonage by well-known people. As with most nightclubs recreational drug use tended to be a problem. The Commerce Club, the host of 'Tasty' closed permanently shortly after, the result of a lease dispute. Tasty then moved to Wall St. It should be noted that Tasty first opened its doors at 'Temple Bar and Nightclub' in the Masonic Building in Flinders Street before moving to the Commerce Club.

Tasty was produced by Razor Promotions: Gavin Campbell, Stephen de Jong and Rhett Adam. Razor also produced 'Savage' at the Palladin Nightclub and 'Bump!' at The Redhead.

References Edit

  • A 52 minute documentary produced by Esben Storm and directed by Stephen Maclean titled The Tasty Bust (2003) interviews many patrons, club owners and employees to recount the events of the night.
  • 'Tasty' raid: now for the song and dance, The Age, November 10, 2002
  • Victoria Police Corruption, written by Raymond Hoser, [ISBN 0-9586769-6-8]

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