Arts & Entertainment

LAPD Facebook page overwhelmed with comments after cuffing of 'Django Unchained' actress

Daniele Watts attends a Janelle Monae concert at Club Nokia on Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2012, in Los Angeles.
Daniele Watts attends a Janelle Monae concert at Club Nokia on Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2012, in Los Angeles.
Todd Williamson/Todd Williamson/Invision/AP

Update 2:07 p.m.: LAPD says officers were responding to 'indecent exposure' complaint

In a press release Sunday, police said they were responding to a call of indecent exposure when they approached Watts and her boyfriend in their car in Studio City Thursday.

According to police: 

The responding sergeant and police officers located two individuals that matched the description of the suspects, and they were briefly detained. Upon further investigation it was determined that no crime had been committed. Ms. Watts and her companion were subsequently released.

LAPD spokesperson Sally Madera said detaining a suspect is necessary so officers can evaluate the veracity of a call. 

"If a call is generated and the people that are the subject of the call match the description of the people the officers have encountered," she said, "they will be detained for the purpose of the investigation and for the duration necessary to either conclude that a crime has been committed or that a crime has not been committed." 

In their statement, police say they have opened an investigation into the handling of the incident.  

12:11 pm: LAPD Facebook page overwhelmed with comments after cuffing of 'Django Unchained' actress

If you haven't heard already, actress Daniele Watts (who played CoCo in "Django Unchained" and now stars in FX's sitcom "Partners") says she was handcuffed Thursday by officers in Studio City after she was seen kissing her boyfriend.

LAPD North Hollywood Division's Facebook page has been pummeled with angry comments since. 

Watts, who is African-American, said she was with her boyfriend Brian James Lucas on a street in Studio City when the two were approached by police who asked to see their IDs. Lucas complied, according to his Facebook post; Watts did not.  

She said she was handcuffed and put in a patrol car until officers reviewed her ID.

The actress wrote on her Facebook page:  

"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.

[...]

"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!!!!!!!"

Lucas posted his own statement on Facebook, along with pictures of Watts in tears during the incident. 

"From the questions that he asked me as D[aniele] 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)." 

A spokesperson for the Los Angeles Police Department told Variety that they have no information on the incident, as Watts was not placed under arrest.

The incident comes three weeks after black film producer Charles Belk was mistakenly detained in Beverly Hills as a suspect in a nearby robbery. The Beverly Hills Police Department issued an apology to Belk shortly after. 

Correction: An earlier version of this post incorrectly stated the day the incident took place. Police have since said the Watts was detained on Thursday, September 11. It also misstated the nature of the relationship between Watts and Lucas.