Daniele Watts, an African-American actress who appeared in “Django Unchained,” has claimed she was handcuffed and detained by Los Angeles police officers after being mistaken for a prostitute when she kissed her husband.
Watts and her white husband, celebrity chef Brian James Lucas, were approached by police in Studio City Thursday when they were seen showing affection in public, the actress said in a Facebook post. She claims that when she refused to produce her photo identification, she was handcuffed and held in a police car as the officers tried to figure out who she was. She reportedly cut her wrist as she was handled roughly by the officers.
“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. I felt his shame, his anger, and my 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!!!!!!!”
In a statement Sunday, police said that they were responding to a complaint that a male and a female were involved in indecent exposure inside a Silver Mercedes with the vehicle door open. Patrol officers and a sergeant from North Hollywood Division responded to the 11900 block of Ventura Boulevard in Studio City and “located two individuals that matched the description of the suspects, and they were briefly detained,” authorities said.
“Upon further investigation it was determined that no crime had been committed. Ms. Watts and her companion were subsequently released.” An internal complaint investigation has been initiated regarding the incident, police said.
Lucas also described the events on his Facebook page Friday.
“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). This is something that happened to her and her father when she was 16. What an assumption to make!!!” he wrote.
Video taken at the scene shows an agitated Watts talking to a police officer with her hands behind her back: