Django Unchained actress Daniele Watts and her boyfriend pleaded no contest on Monday to a charge of disturbing the peace stemming from an incident last year in which the two were found being overly affectionate in a public parking lot.
In September, Watts, who is African-American, and boyfriend Brian James Lucas, who is white, were briefly detained in a Studio City parking lot after police received a complaint from a witness who claimed the couple were engaged in indecent exposure in a parked car. After insisting she and her boyfriend were doing nothing wrong, Watts accused the officers of racism, suggesting police detained them, “because I’m black, and he’s white.”
Police released Watts and her boyfriend after the incident and said no crime had been committed. However, in October, Watts and her boyfriend were charged with lewd conduct after additional witnesses came forward.
As part of their disturbing the peace plea, Watts and her boyfriend were ordered to perform 40 hours of community service and write apology letters to the officers they accused of racism, according to the Los Angeles Times. Watts and Lucas were also reportedly ordered to apologize to the residents of the Ventura County building who first complained to the police. In exchange, the charges of lewd conduct against the couple were dropped.
Sgt. Jim Parker, who bore the brunt of Watts’s accusations of racism, told the Times that he has been ordered to appear before an LAPD disciplinary panel for his role in the incident. In October, Sgt. Parker leaked an audio tape of the incident to TMZ in an attempt to defend himself from the allegations.
“It would have been a non-issue if she had not gone public in the first place,” Parker told the Times. “She went public first, and I had to clear myself. I tried to stop it right away.”
Lou Shapiro, an attorney for Watts and Lucas, told the paper that the apology letters were a “win for everybody.”
“It was a very emotionally charged case,” Shapiro told the Times. “I think it’s a nice ending to an emotionally charged case, to have a letter of apology.”
Watts had previously refused to apologize to the officers, despite pressure from several civil rights leaders who said there was “probable cause” for the stop and accused the actress of “crying wolf.”