Activists Want "Django Unchained" Actress to Apologize to LAPD About Detention - NBC Southern California

Activists Want "Django Unchained" Actress to Apologize to LAPD About Detention

Daniele Watts, a "Django Unchained" actress, was detained by LAPD officers because she said they thought she was a prostitute

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Activists Urge "Django Unchained" Actress to Apologize to LAPD

    Actress Daniele Watts claims LAPD handcuffed her and put her in a police car for public showing affection to her companion in Studio City Thursday, Sept. 11, 2014. Kim Baldonado reports for the NBC4 News at 11 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014. (Published Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014)

    It's a story that went viral — Daniele Watts, a black actress claiming she was detained by the LAPD for kissing her white boyfriend in public.

    Civil rights advocates jumped to her defense, including Earl Ofari Hutchinson.

    "I was one that was very outspoken about it," he said. "We take racial profiling very seriously. It's not a play thing. It's not trivial."

    Since the incident, an audiotape has been released in which Watts can be heard refusing to show identification to the officer, who was responding to a call generated by an observer who reported Watts and her boyfriend were engaged in a lewd act in a car on a public street corner.

    "Django Unchained" Actress Claims Wrongful Detainment

    [NATL-LA] "Django Unchained" Actress Claims Wrongful Detainment
    An actress who had a role in the film “Django Unchained” claimed on Facebook that she was wrongfully detained by two Los Angeles Police Department officers for publicly showing affection to a companion in Studio City. Police said Sunday that they responded to a report of indecent exposure. Gadi Schwartz reports from North Hollywood for the NBC4 News at 9:30 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014.
    (Published Monday, Sept. 15, 2014)

    The police sergeant involved has protested Watts' claims and photos showing Watts straddling her boyfriend in the passenger seat of a car have surfaced. Employees of nearby businesses have also spoken to news outlets and described the behavior that generated the call as more graphic than kissing.

    Hutchinson said the audio recording and photos cast doubt on Watts' account and he is now calling on the actress to apologize to the LAPD.

    LAPD Chief Charlie Beck has said that he believes the officers who detained the actress after responding to a report of a couple engaged in lewd behavior inside a car in Studio City acted properly.

    He said Thursday that he looks forward to finding out what "really happened."

    "I look forward to being able to adjudicate this case,"  he said.

    It's a case that some are now saying may not involve racial profiling.

    "Django Unchained" Actress Racial Profiling Claim Investigated

    [LA] "Django Unchained" Actress Racial Profiling Claim Investigated
    A video that has gone viral showing "Django Unchained" actress Daniele Watts being questioned by a Los Angeles Police Department officer is being investigated and questioned on the basis of whether or not the officer used proper procedure and if he racially profiled the actress. Patrick Healy reports for NBC4 News at 6 p.m. from downtown Los Angeles Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2014.
    (Published Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2014)

    Comments from the public on Watts' Facebook page are increasingly negative.

    "I'm black, but the latest audio that was released proved to MANY people that this Danielle Watts actress is a calculating, attention seeking DIVA who refused to cooperate," wrote Jordan Dermont. "The cop was doing his job, was professional AND WAS VERY POLITE!"

    Brittany Nicole wrote, "I guess you would be the girl who cried wolf? I am ashamed of this whole thing. Can we as black people stop pulling the race card EVERY single time we get in trouble."

    Hutchinson said it was a teaching moment for him.

    "We began to see pictures that actually show that perhaps there was probable cause for the stop. There was provable cause for the detention," he said. "You must have your facts. You can't rush to judgment. If you do that, you have no credibility."

    He hopes it's a lesson learned for others.

    "It's like crying wolf," he said. "After awhile, it has no meaning."

    A call to Watts was not returned.

    The actress, best known for her role in the Quentin Tarantino western, "Django Unchained," has criticized the actions of police, complaining that she was handcuffed and briefly detained on a Studio City street on Thursday because officers mistook her and her boyfriend for a prostitute and customer. Watts also declined to provide her ID to an officer, prompting a lengthy exchange that has drawn national attention.

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