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Dublin: 11 °C Saturday 4 April, 2020

Django Unchained actress mistaken for prostitute after kissing boyfriend in car

The actress was detained in Los Angeles.

Image: Facebook/Daniele Watts

DJANGO UNCHAINED ACTRESS Daniele Watts and her boyfriend are claiming racial bias after she was handcuffed and briefly put in the back of a squad car after a public display of affection in LA.

Watts’ partner Brian Lucas told KCBS-TV in a joint interview with Watts that he suspects police mistook the black actress for a prostitute “because he was asking me questions like, ‘Who is she? How do you know her? Are you together?”.

The Los Angeles Police Department said yesterday that officers detained the pair after a complaint that two people were “involved in indecent exposure” in a silver Mercedes. Watts was detained until police determined no crime was committed.

Watts told the station that she and Lucas were embracing in the car on Thursday when police showed up. The two have been dating for the past year.

In a Facebook post Watts said

When the officer arrived, I was standing on the sidewalk by a tree. I was talking to my father on my cell phone. I knew that I had done nothing wrong, that I wasn’t harming anyone, so I walked away.
A few minutes later, I was still talking to my dad when 2 different police officers accosted me and forced me into handcuffs.

In a later interview she said:

I knew that the clearest thing for me to do was to own my right as a free person and say, ‘I haven’t done anything wrong and I know I’m not required to give you my ID’.

Watts said she walked away and another officer put her in handcuffs and into the back of a patrol car. She was let go after police identified her.

“I don’t have to feel ashamed for being who I am and that’s really where the tears were coming from,” Watts said, referring to a mobile phone video of her during the incident.

Lucas also took to Facebook to express his anger at their treatment:

From the questions that he asked me as D was already on her phone with her dad, 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!!!

Police said an internal investigation has been launched.

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Associated Press

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