LOS ANGELES, California — Los Angeles Police Department Sgt. Jim Parker said in an interview on Tuesday evening that he fears he could lose his job for providing TMZ with audio from his brief detainment of Django Unchained actress Daniele Watts last month. Watts and her boyfriend Brian James Lucas were officially charged on Tuesday with one count each of lewd conduct, and could face up to six months of incarceration and a $1,000 fine if convicted.
“I’ve been placed in what’s called the ‘penalty box.’ I can’t wear a uniform, I can’t be on patrol and I can have no civilian contact,” Sgt. Parker said in an interview with The Wrap in which he revealed that he feels he is in even greater trouble than Watts and Lucas. “I’ve got more charges against me than she has against her.”
Sgt. Parker is apparently facing allegations of “insubordination [for leaking the tape and talking to the media] along with discourteous behavior [for the way he spoke to Watts on the audio recording]. He has also been accused of cashing in by selling the audio recording to TMZ, however, Parker emphatically denies receiving any money,” notes The Wrap’s Anita Bennett.
A 25-year veteran of the LAPD, Parker said that he is “shocked” at what happened to him and that he expects to be fired. He said his intention in releasing the audio to TMZ was to put a stop to the racial allegations surrounding the case.
Many in the mainstream media jumped on Watts’s initial claims of racial profiling, which were later described by civil rights leaders as “crying wolf.”
Sgt. Parker told The Wrap that he is under so much stress that he has taken medical leave until his fate is determined.