(Updated with statement from Los Angeles police)
“Django Unchained” actress Daniele Watts says she was stopped and handcuffed by police last week in Los Angeles after she was “showing affection” to her partner, Brian James Lucas. In a Facebook post, Lucas said it’s clear that police “saw a tatted RAWKer white boy and a hot bootie shorted black girl” and thought she was a prostitute and that he was a client.
On Sunday, the Los Angeles Police Department said Watts and Lucas were briefly detained after officers responded to a 911 call about “indecent exposure” between a couple in a car, and they matched the description. However, the department has launched an internal complaint investigation about what happened.
The story started making the rounds over the weekend when Watts (who you may recognize from FX’s new series “Partners” or Showtime’s “Weeds”) wrote a long Facebook post about the incident, including pictures. Lucas, a chef, also posted multiple photos of Watts with the two police officers, plus a picture of a cut on her arm that they said was from the handcuffs.
According to Watts, who wrote about the incident on Thursday: “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.”
Lucas told TMZ that the couple was “making out in a parked car” outside CBS television studios, where Watts had just had a meeting. Watts said when the officers approached her, she was standing outside on the sidewalk talking to her father on the phone — the officers followed and “accosted her,” using handcuffs. Lucas said in his Facebook post that when Watts declined to show identification after the cops asked (“because they had no right to do so”), they “threw her roughly” in the police car.
The LAPD released a statement that confirmed that North Hollywood patrol officers responded to a radio call last Thursday from a concerned citizen, who said 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 located two individuals that matched the description of the suspects, and they were briefly detained,” according to the statement. “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 this matter,” police added.
Watts continued an emotional Facebook post: “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,” she wrote. “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!!!!!!!”
“Our freedom isn’t freedom folks, when people can abuse others with no reason or evidence at all just because they ‘think’ they have been given the power by people that are ONLY equal to us,” Lucas wrote in his post. “Of course, they had to let her go eventually cuz we weren’t a threat to anyone.”
On Facebook, Watts also included a screengrab of herself in a police uniform playing a cop on the final season of “Weeds” — it was juxtaposed next to photos of herself in real life, crying, as she talked to the Los Angeles cops on the street.
When contacted by The Post, Watts’s manager said there was no further comment at this time.
Danielle Douglas contributed to this report.