Audio Of 'Django Unchained' Actress' Detention Released
Daniele Watts, an actress known for her role in Django Unchained, was detained last Thursday in Studio City after LAPD officers responded to a 9-1-1 call reporting a couple for indecent exposure with the car door open. After Watts, who claimed she was just making out with her boyfriend, refused to show the officers her ID, she was handcuffed and questioned by authorities. New police audio recordings of that incident were released.
Here is a partial transcript of the audio recordings obtained by TMZ:
Watts: “What’s the issue?” Officer: “Somebody called the police saying that there was lewd acts in the car.”
Watts: “There are no lewd acts happening in the car. ”
Officer: “It doesn’t matter, I have to ID you.”
Watts: “We’re not doing anything.”
Officer: “Somebody called-”
Watts: “I’m on the phone with my dad. This is my boyfriend-.”
Officer: “Okay. I want to see your ID. Somebody called, which gives me the right to be here. So it gives me the right to identify you.”
Watts: “You know how many times I’ve been called — the cops have been called, just for being black? Is it just because I’m black and he’s white? I’m just being really honest sir.”
Officer: “Who brought up a race card? ”
Watts: “I’m bringing it up. Because -”
Officer: “I said nothing about race, I said nothing about you being black.”
Watts: “I have every right to be here.”
Officer: “And I have every right to ask for your ID.”
Watts: “And I have every right to say no, and if you’d like to demand it you can take me down to the courthouse and I can make a scene.”
Watts: “I mean, I have a publicist, and I work as an actress at a studio -”
Officer: “I’m mildly interested-you have a publicist? — but I’m going to get your ID.”
Watts: “No, I’m am going to say no. And if you’d like my ID you can say that I’m resisting arrest and you can-”
Officer: There’s no resisting, you’re just interfering -.”
Watts: “And what I am saying is that I’ve not done anything wrong. I’m on the phone with my father. My step-mom is dying-.”
Officer: “You know what probable cause is? You know what probable cause is?”
Watts: “Yes and I . What is probable cause? I’m sitting here talking on the phone to my father and you demand my ID-”
Watts and her boyfriend Brian James Lucas, a celebrity chef known as Cheffy Be*Live, believe that authorities handcuffed her outside of the CBS Studios in the 11900 block of Ventura Boulevard because they assumed that Watts was a prostitute. Lucas told BuzzFeed that the officers kept asking him, "Do you really know her?" On an Instagram post, Lucas wrote:
From the questions that he asked me as [Daniele] was already on her phone with her dad, I could tell that whoever called on us (including the officers), saw a tatted RAWKer white boy and a hot bootie shorted black girl and thought we were a HO (prostitute) & a TRICK (client).
Witnesses at the Directors Guild building across the street told TMZ that after Watts left CBS Studios around 2 p.m. on Sept. 11, they saw her and Lucas having sex in their car with the passenger seat door open. One witness said Watt was straddling Lucas in the car seat, and another told police that "they cleaned themselves up afterward with a tissue."
Watts told BuzzFeed that they were fully clothed and merely kissing, and that's why she refused to show officers her ID. Lucas wasn't handcuffed because he had given his ID to the police immediately. Authorities later released the couple, saying in a release that "upon further investigation it was determined that no crime had been committed."
"If I'm within my amendment rights, my constitutional rights to say no unless you're charging me with a crime, I will not be giving you my ID," Watts said in an interview with CNN today. "That is a right that I stand up for because of the shoulders that I stand on, because of the people that fought so hard for their rights that came before me. Black, white, all people have been fighting for these rights for freedom. It's beyond race at this point."
The NY Daily News reported that in California, there is no law requiring people to present their ID when they're detained on suspicion of criminal activity. However, legal experts told CNN that the officer had the right to request an ID if he suspected illegal activities.
LAPD Capt. Stephen Carmona of the North Hollywood division defended the officers and said they were just doing their job. He told the L.A. Times: "That's just basic police work. It could be a vandalism suspect in an alley. The vandalism may be done, but they're still going to investigate the incident."
Here are the audio recordings of the arrest. Warning, there is explicit language in the recordings.