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Local Civil Rights Activists Want 'Django Unchained' Actress To Apologize To The LAPD And Community
The jury's still out on whether Daniele Watts is guilty of having sex in a public place with her boyfriend, Brian Lucas, but some activists believe she is guilty of diminishing the serious issue of racial profiling. And one even wants her to apologize to the LAPD. Civil rights activist Earl Ofari Hutchinson, President of the Los Angeles Urban Policy Roundtable, admitted that he was one of the most outspoken when Watts first said she was accused of being a prostitute when kissing her white boyfriend in public.
Leaked audio revealed that police were responding to a report of lewd conduct, plus TMZ has released photos of her straddling her boyfriend complete with accounts from witnesses claiming that Lucas was "bongoing" her bare breasts and that the pair wiped themselves with tissues after finishing up whatever they were doing.
In response to the new information, Hutchinson says he sees there was probable cause for the stop, and he wants Watts to apologize to the LAPD. He told NBC, "It's like crying wolf. After a while, it has no meaning."
Hutchinson appeared on radio station KTYM 1460 AM in Inglewood with Project Islamic Hope President Najee Ali today at 9:30 a.m. to denounce Watts, LA Weekly reports. They released a joint statement prior to the appearance:
Civil rights leaders take the charge of racial profiling seriously and is not to be claimed frivolously. Anyone who uses that charge to cover wrongdoing will be denounced. This is the case with Watts and this will send the message that there must be grounds for claims of racial profiling to be credible.
Ali also said that Watts should be embarrassed, not the activists who first came out to defend her, CBS reports.
"We didn't make a rush to judgment. We can to aid a victim who we thought was victimized. For us, she's wrong. That's why we're demanding Daniele Watts apologize not to LAPD but to our community."
Activist Jasmyne Cannick tweeted this:
Radio personality Larry Elder tweeted this:
On the other hand, however, there's still the argument of whether a person has to show their ID to a police officer or not. Watts can be heard refusing to offer hers during her detention.
Police Chief Charlie Beck himself said that in the state of California, there isn't a law saying you must carry ID and show it to officers if asked. However, he said that because there was a report of a crime and because Watts and Lucas matched the description, "it appears the officers did exactly what the people of Los Angeles would expect." He continued, saying, "Their decision to detain, investigate further and then release is well within the bounds of policing and the authority of police in the state of California."
Peter Bibring, director of police practices for the ACLU of Southern California, told the Times you don't have to to provide your ID to the police. "If you don't want to provide identification, you can politely say you do not want to do so and ask if you are free to go," he said. However, he also said police can detain you if they suspect you have committed a crime in order to investigate, though they can't arrest you just for not showing an ID.
"Some states have what are called "Stop and Identify" statutes that require someone suspected of criminal activity to provide identification to police, making refusal a crime. California has no such statute, so if you refuse to provide an ID while police are detaining you, they can't arrest you just for refusing. "
The ACLU of Northern California, it can be noted, lists providing your name as something to definitely do if you are stopped right on their 'your rights and the police' page.
Watts' detainment came shortly after the detainment and arrest of a black TV producer, Charles Belk, who was stopped in Beverly Hills for matching the description of an alleged bank robber. In Belk's situation, however, it took police six hours to determine that he was not the robber after reviewing video footage.