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Police officers in Massachusetts have been warned that it looks bad when they patronise strip clubs, especially after a brawl between officers and gang members in a local nude bar.

Officers involved in the fight were given retraining which included a reminder of the "negative public perception" of police personnel being seen in strip clubs.

A legal representative for the bar where the fight took place, named Mardi Gras, told the Associated Press that it was not punished by the city.

According to, the brawl took place on 6 December after a group of officers finished their shift and went to the club to celebrate one of their birthdays.

Once in the strip club, one of the officers realised that another patron there that night was a gang member who had previously threatened him.

Officers told investigators that though they tried to stay out of the way of the gang member and his friends, the group seems intent to confront them, reported.

A witness said the gang member threw a drink at the off-duty officer before getting close to his face, the officer then struck the man, later writing that he feared the man was about to strike him. Friends on both sides got involved in the brawl until the gang member's group was thrown out by the club's security.

Different stories surfaced as to why the officers did not arrest the men - one said that they thought the situation had eased enough, while investigators reported that the officers were ill-equipped to carry out arrests.