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EXCLUSIVE: Local Officer, Actors Say Race Was Not an Issue in Watts Detention

EXCLUSIVE: Local Officer, Actors Say Race Was Not an Issue in Watts Detention

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STUDIO CITY, California — Race was not a factor in the detention of Django Unchained actress Daniele Watts by Los Angeles police officers last week, according to officers and members of the community who spoke with Breitbart News. 

Police had been called to a Studio City location last Thursday after someone complained to 911 dispatch about “lewd acts,” allegedly in the form of two people allegedly having sex in broad daylight in their parked car on Radford Avenue.

Breitbart News spoke with Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) Officer Michael Lewis on the 11900 block of Ventura Boulevard on Monday, near the location of Watts’s detention. Lewis said: “I don’t care if you’re pink, yellow, green or purple. We don’t care. The law is the law.” 

Lewis told Breitbart that LAPD Sgt. Jim Parker, who had briefly handcuffed Watts, handled the situation with Watts the way he was supposed to have done. He said that Watts’s decision to be uncooperative is what resulted in her being detained, and that anyone who responded to an officer who was conducting an investigation in such a manner would be faced with the same result.

Watts and Lucas both matched the description of two people the 911 caller had alleged were engaging in sex in a car.  The 911 caller had described a black female who was wearing floral shorts, a t-shirt, and sneakers; they also a white man wearing a black tank top. 

According to Officer Lewis, if someone calls the police and complains of a public nuisance, such as a lewd act that is occurring in the public sphere, and authorities arrive on the scene to address and investigate that issue, they are required to furnish identification upon request.

Watts had suggested that the investigation into her alleged “lewd act” was racially motivated. In an audio recording obtained by TMZ, she could be heard telling Sgt. Parker, “Just because we’re black and he’s white? I’m just being really honest, sir.” 

Parker responded: “Who brought up the race card?” to which Watts replied, “I’m bringing it up.” 

Sgt. Parker then told Watts: “Thank you for bringing up the race card. I never heard that.” At one point Watts could apparently be heard saying, “I bet you you’re a little bit racist.”

Breitbart News also spoke with several individuals in the community who had heard about the story and who provided their own perspective. 

Sharad Bamberg, who moved to California from New York six months ago and is himself black, saw no evidence of racial bias. 

“I don’t think it was racial profiling,” Bamberg told Breitbart News. He spoke outside the Director’s Guild, where witnesses allegedy saw a couple having sex in the passenger’s side seat of the car, with the door wide open.

Bamberg said that he was not surprised that Watts had been handcuffed as a result of her being uncooperative with officers and furnishing her ID. “That’s going to happen if you don’t cooperate. I mean, there are laws that need to be followed.”

Another local resident, an actress of Puerto Rican descent who gave her name as Jessica and said she has been living in California for 10 years, agreed.

“Some things you read and you just think to yourself, ‘I’m just going to pretend this is not real. It can’t be real. Please don’t be real.’ Because it’s just so ridiculous and mind-boggling,” Jessica said. 

She told Breitbart News that if a citizen called 911 to alert police of an incident, “then that changes things…if at that point she [Watts] is a suspect because there is a scene to which a cop has been called and [she] is not cooperating, that’s different.” She noted that “at that point it’s just a citizen who is under suspicion…and it has nothing to do with the person being purple or brown or pink or whatever.”

As for the topic of public displays of affection, “There’s a time and a place for everything and that’s why they say ‘indecent exposure; that’s a crime,'” Jessica expressed. “You can’t just be taking it all out. At the same time, it’s certainly not a crime to be physical. It depends on what is inappropriate.”


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