Daniele Watts is a black actress who has appeared in major film and TV projects. She has appeared in the cable television series Weeds, the upcoming Martin Lawrence film Partners and is remembered most famously in her role as Coco in DJango Unchained. She and her boyfriend, Brian James Lucas, were walking in Studio City, California, and stopped briefly to show affection.
This is when two LAPD officers saw the biracial couple and assumed Watts was a prostitute. The officers detained Watts and demanded she produce a photo ID; when she refused she was handcuffed and placed in the police squad car. Watts was released from the police car shortly afterward, humiliated and in tears. She posted the following comment on Facebook:
“Today I was handcuffed and detained by 2 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.
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.
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!!!!!!!
I was sitting in that back of this cop car, filled with adrenaline, my wrist bleeding in pain, and it occurred to me, that even there, I STILL HAD POWER OVER MY OWN SPIRIT.”
Lucas felt that they were being targeted for being an interracial couple. In a separate post on his Facebook page, he revealed that the police assumed that his wife was a prostitute and that he was a trick. According to Lucas, “They saw a tatted RAWKer white boy and a hot and hot bootie shorted black girl and thought we were a h- and a trick.”
When local Hollywood media attempted to get a comment and records from the incident, they were told that there was no record of it happening and Watts wasn’t arrested or brought to the station. Despite the police stating there was no record of the incident, it was photographed by Watts’ boyfriend.