Sep 24 2014

Daniele Watts Speaks Out, Puts Her Experience With LAPD Into Context

An incident on September 11th involving actress Daniele Watts in Los Angeles has thrust her into the media glare. Watts is the star best known for her role in Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained. Apparently responding to a call over so-called “lewd acts” in public, a Los Angeles Police Department officer demanded to see Watts’ ID while she was with her boyfriend. Watts, who is African American, felt that the police was unfairly singling her out because of her race and because she was showing affection publicly to her boyfriend who is white. Refusing to turn over her ID, she was handcuffed. Photos of her weeping while handcuffed went viral.

Eventually, after being let go, she posted her immediate reaction to her Facebook page, saying, “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.”

Watts was initially supported by local civil rights activists Earl Ofari Hutchinson, and Najee Ali. But after photos of the actress and her boyfriend in their car surfaced on TMZ, they retracted their support and demanded she apologize to the LAPD. Meanwhile, the LAPD has launched its own investigation of the incident although Watts herself has not yet filed any charges.

GUEST: Daniele Watts, actress whose roles include Coco in Django Unchained, and Laura Jackson in the FX show, Partners

5 responses so far

5 Responses to “Daniele Watts Speaks Out, Puts Her Experience With LAPD Into Context”

  1. Jennifer Jensenon 25 Sep 2014 at 9:46 am

    So happy you have a platform on which to speak. I never thought holding the police accountable for their actions would be so hard. I was forcibly detained last December for attempting to sell a dance hoop on the boardwalk. Met with my 6th lawyer the other day. After reliving the trauma in describing the situation to him, he said he just met with me because i had a cute pic on facebook and that he wasn’t taking any new cases. My kingdom for your publicist….

  2. Cherry Grayon 25 Sep 2014 at 1:59 pm

    Sonali, the officer “asked” for Daniele’s ID. He did not “demand” it. Please be careful with the words you use. Did you listen to the audio of the incident? To do the interview with Daniele without having listened to it is irresponsible. Also, to immediately dismiss the details of what happened as being unimportant is egregiously irresponsible and arrogant. Daniele may have had many feelings that day, but that does not mean the police behaved inappropriately. She was hysterical and angry. She brought up the word “arrest,” the officer did not. She and her boyfriend assumed the police had prejudice — the police did not display such. She was prejudiced, believing their motives were about race — their actions did not support her belief. They were doing their job in a low-key, reasonable manner. There’s lots of talk on your show about history, but Daniele’s father’s experiences are not relevant to this situation — except to Daniele. To date, she has not behaved as a responsible human. Along with refusing a standard request from the officers to show her ID, she blamed the situation on racial prejudice when there was no evidence to support the claim. She claimed they implied she was a prostitute, but has taken no responsibility for very questionable public behavior (people in this country are even more concerned about sex than they are about race). Her actions and claims have put the jobs and careers of these officers in jeopardy and she shows no concern. Don’t you think that innocent police are tired of being portrayed as villains? Surely there are innocent police — in this incident, one was gay, one was a woman, btw. She repeatedly mentions other situations in which there was prejudice shown because she is black and her boyfriend is white — when? Where? How can anyone believe she was correct in those assumptions when she is so wrong about what happened on 9-11-14? We all heard the tape. Does she not understand that when the police receive a call, they ask for descriptions of those involved? It could be “a redheaded white woman in her 40s and a Latino in his 20s” — or whatever. Mentioning race is just part of the description. It’s desperately sad to me that she is not taking into consideration the wisdom of the elders who are trying to stop her from inflaming the already difficult relationship between the public and the police. Sonali — this incident was not the same as one where a woman was thrown to the ground — that’s ridiculous. You have given Daniele a platform as if something real happened to her. It did not. Just because she had “feelings” does not mean someone is to blame for them. She talks about negative comments on Facebook, portraying the “haters,” but she doesn’t mention the numbers of reasonable people telling her she is being irresponsible and unfair. Sonali, you think you’ve done a good deed by having Daniele on your show, but did not do your job. You didn’t question the realities of the situation — you allowed Daniele and yourself to simply repeat old tropes about racism. There’s plenty that is real to talk about on that score. And you have also given her a platform to encourage people to not cooperate with the police by showing ID. Yes, you can refuse, the ACLU says, and then the officers can take you to the station to find out who you are. Do young black men need to be encouraged to not cooperate with the police — when they are approached in a reasonable way? What do you think would be the outcome of that behavior? Haven’t there been enough devastating incidents?

  3. tiffon 26 Sep 2014 at 8:07 am

    She is not a star. She is not best known for “Django Unchained”,; she is best known for lying about this incident. She thought she actually was a big deal because she had bit parts in a few films and TV series and therefore felt she deserved special treatment. The police, like everyone except Daddy and her boyfriend , had no clue who she was and even if they had, that would not have given her any right to expect special treatment. Seriously–this moron threatened the cops with a call to her publicist. Stop for a moment and consider how very, very comical that is. She lied about what her and her boyfriend were doing when she said they were only kissing. Why did she not explain about how they were doing yoga when first questioned about the incident–you know, before she knew there were photos of them doing somethinmg that was not kissing? My guess is because she’s a liar, a phony, a hypocrite, an idiot and an immature spoiled brat.

  4. john hansenon 26 Sep 2014 at 6:43 pm

    she is not african american… she is generations removed from africa.

    she is an american,

    she is also an idiot, her 15 minutes are long over.

  5. Rachelon 01 Oct 2014 at 7:08 pm

    Guess the only way this non star can continue her non issue is by going to an unknown unimpressive, bias, NON journalist!
    America is angry at her bold face lies and her refusal to admit the bad behavior and lies!!