‘They thought she was a prostitute’: LA police handcuff Django Unchained actress kissing her white partner
African-American Django Unchained actress Daniele Watts said she was “handcuffed and detained” by LA police when she was kissing her white partner in a public place. She claims the officers mistakenly took them for a prostitute and her client.
Daniele Watts was sitting in a car and kissing Brian James Lucas in Studio City, California, when someone apparently thought showing their public affection was inappropriate. When a Los Angeles Police Department officer approached, they demanded the couple’s IDs.
Daniele, who was at that time on the sidewalk talking on the phone with her father, refused to do it.
“I knew that I had done nothing wrong, that I wasn’t harming anyone, so I walked away,” Watts wrote on her Facebook account.
A couple of minutes later, two officers handcuffed and detained her in the back of a police car.
“Today I was handcuffed and detained by two police officers from the Studio City Police Department after refusing to agree that I had done something wrong by showing affection, fully clothed, in a public place,” wrote Watts.
Lucas added his own public Facebook comments, saying that he believes the officers mistakenly took his partner for a prostitute and himself for her client. He added that there might also have been a race factor as she is black and he is white.
“I could tell that whoever called on us [including the officers], saw a tatted RAWKer white boy and a hot bootie shorted black girl and thought we were a HO [prostitute] & a TRICK [client],” he wrote.
Lucas was recording the incident on his mobile phone. The photos on his account claim that the police handcuffed Watts “and threw her roughly into the back of the cop car until they could figure out who she was.” Watts was handcuffed and placed in the back of a patrol car, according to Lucas, who also posted pictures of Watts sobbing when she stood in front of a police officer.
“In the process of handcuffing her, they cut her wrist, which was truly NOT COOL!!!” he wrote.
Daniele wrote how ashamed she felt when she was sitting at the police car, handcuffed.
“As I was sitting in the back of the police car, I remembered the countless times my father came home frustrated or humiliated by the cops when he had done nothing wrong.”
She added that she felt her father’s shame, anger, “and her own feelings of frustration for existing in a world where I have allowed myself to believe that 'authority figures' could control my BEING… my ability to BE!!!!!!!”
“The tears I cry for a country that calls itself ‘the land of the free and the home of the brave’ and yet detains people for claiming that very right,” she wrote.
Watts was then eventually released, according to the couple’s posts.
In the meantime, there was no record of the incident because the actress wasn’t arrested or taken into the police station for questioning, LAPD public information officer told the local media.
California laws do not have “stop and identify” statutes, they do not authorize police officers to detain persons and request their IDs, and arrest them if they do not.