Police Abuse

Black Actress Daniele Watts Handcuffed, Detained in Studio City for Kissing her Husband in Public [UPDATE: With Links to Audio!]


[UPDATE: To vicariously live through and hear exactly why Watts, and other Americans, get so aggravated with police, it's worth listening to some audio of the incident released by celeb gossip website TMZ, in which a Sgt. Parker tells Watts with maddening supercilious arrogance that "I do have more power than you. Yes it's true. I have more power than you" and "I don't work for you" and "When I tell you to do something you have to do it, ma'am. That's the law….We actually have no charges now" when stressing she was not arrested but merely being detained. TMZ also found eyewitnesses who claim that Watts and her husband were having intercourse in the parked car, though nothing in the audio they released corroborates that as the complaint.]

For the "why relations between the American people and their law officers can be strained" department, even in the hallowed halls of Tinseltown (adjacent) and involving stars of the silver screen, such as Daniele Watts of Django Unchained and the TV show Partners fame, cops are still officious asses, as reported by Mic.com:

Daniele Watts Facebook

African-American actress Danièle Watts claims she was "handcuffed and detained" by police officers from the Studio City Police Department in Los Angeles on Thursday after allegedly being mistaken for a prostitute.

According to accounts by Watts and her husband Brian James Lucas, two police officers mistook the couple for a prostitute and client when they were seen showing affection in public. Watts refused to show her ID to the cops when questioned and was subsequently handcuffed and placed in the back of their car while police attempted to ascertain her identity. The two officers released Watts shortly afterwards.

The Mic story also contains Ms. Watts full, and quite emotional, account from her Facebook page, including:

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.

Those cops could not stop me from expressing myself. They could not stop the cathartic tears and rage from flowing out of me. They could not force me to feel bad about myself. Yes, they had control over my physical body, but not my emotions. My feelings. My spirit was, and still is FREE.


Variety on the story:

An LAPD public information officer said there was no record of the incident as Watts wasn't arrested or brought into the station for questioning.

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  1. This is actually a standard scare tactic I’ve heard of and seen the LAPD use against women in the past.

    A girl gets mouthy or defensive or she asks why the cops are hassling her, and they’ll often say that they have probable cause to arrest her for prostitution.

    Threaten a woman with putting a prostitution charge on her record, and they suddenly get real compliant real quick. It may be legal, but it’s a fucking disgraceful way to treat somebody.

    1. Of course it’s not legal, but when did that ever stop a cop? Remember, ignorance of the law is ONLY an acceptable defense if you are law enforcement. And anyways, who’s gonna arrest the cop?

      1. I don’t know if it’s illegal for a cop to make up an embarrassing excuse for probable cause–unless they arrest you and lie about probable cause in the arrest report.

        I’ve never heard of a cop being indicted for lying about probable cause on what he could argue was a judgement call anyway.

        He can always say, “Well she looked like a prostitute to me”!

        And how easy are arrest records to access on the web these days?

        1. Cops search/arrest on less than probable cause all the time, because there is little disincentive to do so. If they don’t find anything, they end up letting the person go, and 99% of the time, no one ever hears about it. If they find something, then they can always make up some bullshit reason why they stopped the person, or something the accused supposedly told the cop, and the judges usually uphold the reasons.

          I had a judge say to me, after presenting very competent and reliable witnesses arguing against the cop’s claims, “I’m not saying your witnesses are lying. And I’m not saying the police officer is lying. But I have two conflicting accounts, but if the police officer believed he saw what he says he saw, I’m going to have to accept his judgment and decide against your motion to suppress.” And most judges I’ve seen very rarely deviate from this, unless the cop’s conduct is so blatantly outrageous that no one can defend it with a straight face.

          Arrest records, other than those contained in the publicly available court files, are generally not accessible via web searches in the county where I practice(d) law.

          1. then they can always make up some bullshit reason why they stopped the person

            “Strong odor of marijuana” was used against me a couple years ago. I’ve never smoked pot.

            My colors got me detained and my bike searched because of “known gang affiliation.” I’m in the famously not criminal Boozefighters MC.

            A few years before the gang incident a drug dog “signaled” by doing absolutely nothing and I had my bike dropped on the crash bar and all my stuff scattered on the shoulder of the highway.

            1. I don’t know if you were riding in the eighties, but back then you didn’t even need colors. Long hair, tattoos, harley= roust,ticket, roughing up and jail if possible. I, quite literally, got about 50 tickets, multiple impounded vehicles, jailed about 10 times and beat up maybe 5 times in my twenties for fitting the profile. I once got three tickets for no mirror in the same weekend while waiting for the bike shop to open on Tuesday.

              And yes the Boozefighters are famously not criminal.

              1. I usually only wear my colors when I’m riding with my chapter.

                I do sport the standard biker uniform, long hair, long beard, jeans, T-shirt, and an open-piped Harley which has gotten me harassed a couple times, notably in deeply Blue states. To be fair though, the drug-dog stop happened on a lonely highway in central Georgia while I was on my way home from Bike Week in Daytona.

                The marijuana smell stop happened while I was driving my old truck. Still same uniform. I was hauling composted horse manure for my garden and was tired and hot and as a result, a little testy. Cop pulled me over be cause he claimed I had an unsecured load (bullshit, it was tarped), and then asked to search the vehicle, when I declined he told me that if I had nothing to hide I’d cooperate. My response was, “You can search my truck right after I search your ass with my foot fuckhead.”

                Yeah, that didn’t go over well. But he didn’t find anything other than horseshit and angrily, after lecturing me about “respect,” let me go.

                1. My mother has told me that I might as well just be a criminal if I’m going to be treated like one for how I look. It’s not as bad for bikers as it was years ago, primarily because wealthy yuppie squares (no class envy felt or meant) started donning biker garb and riding Harleys in the ’80s. Cops just can’t tell which of the long-haired bikers are working class schlubs who will roll over because they really have no recourse, or some high-fallutin’ lawyer or executive who only plays biker on summer weekends.

                  I’m glad I wasn’t around for the shit that happened to bikers in the ’50s to early ’80s. I’ve heard some really rotten stories from old-timer Boozers.

            2. I’d guess that in about a third of the criminal cases I’ve taken over the past couple years, “The odor of burnt marijuana” was the basis for probable cause, which was included in the report written after they had found, or the defendant admitted to, marijuana in the car.

    2. The cops have the nifty law which allows them to arrest us for ‘possessing the intent’ to commit prostitution. They are ‘thought police’ now: (these are from the California penal code)
      653.20. For purposes of this chapter, the following definitions
      (a) “Commit prostitution” means to engage in sexual conduct for money or other consideration, but does not include sexual conduct engaged in as a part of any stage performance, play, or other entertainment open to the public.

      (b) “Public place” means an area open to the public, or an alley, plaza, park, driveway, or parking lot, or an automobile, whether
      moving or not, or a building open to the general public, including
      one which serves food or drink, or provides entertainment, or the
      doorways and entrances to a building or dwelling, or the grounds
      enclosing a building or dwelling.
      (c) “Loiter” means to delay or linger without a lawful purpose for being on the property and for the purpose of committing a crime as
      opportunity may be discovered.

      653.22. (a) It is unlawful for any person to loiter in any public
      place with the intent to commit prostitution.

      She was in a public place, and therefore, she could be charged with possessing the intent to commit. Imagine if she had a condom in her purse because she and her husband used them for birth control? that would have been enough to take her to jail and charge her with prostitution, even if she did nothing other than be in a public place.

      1. What a horrifying thought!

        Amazing how quickly they use laws intended ostensibly intended to protect women from exploitation–into a means for cops to exploit women who have nothing whatsoever to do with prostitution anyway.

    3. A scare tactic which was NOT used according to Watts. So why bring it up?

  2. The cop doesn’t look White to me. But obviously that is not to be noticed, although you totally should notice the woman in this case is Black. Maybe he’s a “White Hispanic” or something.

    1. Miss the point much?

      1. I guess so, could you help me find it?

      2. Some people seem to think racism is the new global warming.

        The first thing you do is deny that it exists–then later you look for a justification.

        1. Not sure what you are saying? Is AGW real? Or is it not?

          1. Doesn’t matter to people who make presumptions and look for justifications later, does it.

            1. Or maybe you have things reversed here. Maybe you are the one trying to use global warming as the cause of every situation regardless of specifics. Like claiming earthquakes are caused by global warmeing, frog dieoffs on global warming, etc. There is actually zero ecidence of racism on the part of the cops in this case given the actual facts as opposed to the biased presentiation presented here.

        2. Not every cop is racist, some are just assholes on principle.

          1. Indeed. It wasn’t that they were an interracial couple. It was that her husband is a raw food vegan chef. The fact that he would be able to attract any woman romantically is prima facie suspect

            1. Does that mean they eat lots of raw meat, then keep their tapeworms as housepets?

              man, they seem like the coolest couple.

            2. No, it was that there was a complaint to the police that was called in of lewd behavior, but you would know that if you only read this biased article.

  3. School to fingerprint students to ‘monitor their diets’

    “We will … be able to monitor what children are buying to make sure they are eating a healthy diet.”

    Right. Kids eat identically what they buy.

    So we know what’s coming. 8-(

  4. Peter Theil on capitalism:


    1. oh, people are still doing that? how quaint.

    2. The airlines compete with each other, but Google stands alone


      1. It’s a monopoly because it’s in the dictionary.

    3. Thiel isn’t really talking about “monopolies”, he is talking about being so good that you end up the only supplier for some product for a while.

      The only real monopolies you get in practice are courtesy of crony capitalism and government regulation. Those are the bad kind. But capitalism and free markets are the antidote to those kinds of monopolies.





    1. I would pay extra to go to a coffee shop staffed by such people, purely for the entertainment value.

  6. Black Actress Daniele Watts Handcuffed, Detained in Studio City for Kissing her Husband in Public failure to obey.


    1. Failure to obey a lawful command. FTFY.

      1. The command was not lawful.

  7. It’s quite understandable, if that cop has never had a kiss without paying for it.


    How quaint.

    1. Yeah.

      I get the sentiment, but it’s just dumb. Would you say something like that about a troop of baboons that was stalking you. No, you’d do whatever was required to get away from them as fast as possible.

      1. BUT MY SPIRIT

        It sounds like the ‘prostitution’ wasnt the problem, so much as the ‘how dare you question me’! thing went a little too far, and queen of the spirit-people was allowed to reflect further on the nature of power while handcuffed.

        1. Am I the only one who gets a “How dare you question me! Don’t you know who I am!” vibe from her comment?

          1. Obviously not

            I’ve been ‘detained’ for a half-dozen bullshit reasons (and a dozen semi-legit ones), but the only times I was ever cuffed and stuffed in the back of a car (aka “arrested”) was for the Ancient Mortal Crime/Sin of “Mouthing Off“…

            Honestly, I’m far less concerned about the whine of Black-Actress-Nobody as I am the NYPD claiming ‘stop & frisk’ is down ‘99%’, and OMG shootings are up!, as though there is any correlation.


      Then you try cuffing them next time. See how that works out.

  9. “Studio City Police Department”


    It’s the LAPD. Or, in Universal City, the Sheriffs Office.

  10. “An LAPD public information officer said there was no record of the incident as Watts wasn’t arrested or brought into the station for questioning.”

    Of course. The cops don’t keep records of when they assault people for kicks.

    1. Pretty sure I don’t want a public record every time I’ve been detained for questioning.

  11. Once you make prostitution illegal and actually try to enforce such laws, police will end up having to question people about the nature of their relationships all the time. The underlying problem here is that prostitution is illegal.

  12. Most people do not know what the prostitution laws in California are. The police can arrest person who is in a public place for merely “possessing the intent to commit prostitution.” What is even more outrageous is that they can even arrest a person who is in a car, whether moving or not- for ‘possessing intent’. They are supposed to show there was an act of furtherance, but mostly they can use the laws to harass sex workers – and in many cases- threaten to arrest them unless the suspected prostitute provides them with one of three things: sex, money or information.

    Thanks to the overwhelming support for Prop 35, passed in 2012, cops feel they can do anything they want to sex workers – in the name of protecting them from being ‘sex trafficked’- which means that what they did to Daniele is what they do to us (I am a retired sex worker) all the time. We aren’t lucky enough to be ‘celebrities’ and no one writes a blog protesting the abuse we experience.

    So far, two of LAPD’s finest, Luis Valenzuela and James Nichols, are still on the job after raping a number of sex workers. Their victims did their best to report the crimes perpetrated against them by law enforcement agents. The police union protects these thug rapists and so- to date- it has been impossible to fire them. Why they weren’t arrested and charged with rape, I do not know.

  13. how is a kiss probable cause for prostitution? it’s more like the opposite of probable cause.

    1. The article is nonsense which is why you are confused. The couple admitted she was on his lap making out, that someone complained to them to stop putting on a show, and that police arrived based on a citizen complaint of public lewdness. It’s the complaint that gives probable cause, and it was for lewdness not prostitution. The police started with questiins of relationship only after Watts had refused to identify herself, left the scene like whe didn’t give a shit for the guy nor depended on his car for her ride, they also never indicated they were married. So the accusation of public lewdness along with behavior which made it look like wshe wanted nothing to do with the guy she was with when the cops showed up, made them wonder if this was a lewd behavior for money transaction. Althought they neveractually came out with that accusation since they were still investigating. She could have avoided the cuff and the insupinuation of prostitution by identifying herself as the wife, with or without ID.

      1. Awesome! So the cops will show up if some people are making out in their car? Will they also promise to show up at drive-ins, movie theaters, and wherever else people might be engaging in such(subjectively determined and ridiculously vague) “lewdness?” Or might they instead, you know, step up their game and try solving real crimes? I’d even settle for them just bothering the people I see run red lights every day.

        Making out in a car, though? We’re supposed to think that is a reasonable line of pursuit?

  14. This article is a distortion. It makes it sound like the police just decided to harrass them for being mixed race when it states, “According to accounts by Watts and her husband Brian James Lucas, two police officers mistook the couple for a prostitute and client when they were seen showing affection in public. ” In fact this is a lie of ommission similar to the kind Michael Moire is famous and rich for. Actually the couple was making out in the car with her on his lap ( as discribed by her not the cops) and they were both confronted by one person for putting on a show, and reported to police for lewd public behavior by somebody (likely a differnent person because why warn the people you just reported to police). This is yet another case of a white person responding reasonably to police and a black person behaving unreasonably.

    1. Fuck you, tulpa.

  15. The cop already stated that she did not comply. If you don’t want to be tazed, beaten, shot etc. Just do whatever I say……

  16. The cop was calm and reasonable. The actress whined about about equality in America and having publicist.

    If she shows the cop her ID, this doesn’t happen. You can’t be THAT obtuse.

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