Danièle Watts, an African-American actress who played Coco in Django Unchained and appears as Martin Lawrence's daughter on FX's Partners, says she was handcuffed and detained on Thursday by police in Los Angeles who suspected she was a prostitute.
According to Watts, she was approached by two police officers after kissing her husband Brian James Lucas, who is white, in public. Watts was reportedly asked to show ID and, when she refused, she was handcuffed and placed in the back of a police car. They let her go after finding out who she was.
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.
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).
Watts and Lucas also posted several photos of the incident, including a photo of an injury Watts sustained while being handcuffed:
Update 5:02p.m. The incident is described in a message, titled "Actress Generates Radio Call After Citizen Calls 9-1-1," sent to the LAPD email list. The email states a citizen made a 911 call complaining that a male and female were "involved in indecent exposure inside a Silver Mercedes with the vehicle door open." The responding sergeant and police officers believed Danièle Watts and Brian James Lucas fit their description, and detained them until it was clear they had not committed any crime. An internal complaint investigation has reportedly been initiated.