An attorney representing Django Unchained actress Danielle Watts and her boyfriend entered not guilty pleas on the couple’s behalf during a brief hearing on January 27. The couple were charged with lewd conduct after an incident late last year, when police received calls saying that a couple was having sex in their car. After the incident, Watts claimed that she was the victim of racial profiling and that she was accused of being a prostitute because she was black and her boyfriend was white. However, the LAPD says that the police officers followed proper protocols when they responded to the arrest.
Watts told the New York Daily News, “‘I think there was a lot of personal risk involved for me to decide to even make that Facebook post. I wouldn’t have made that Facebook statement if I didn’t believe this was an issue that deserves our national conversation and attention.”
“And racial conflict is something that a lot of people don’t want to talk about, because it’s uncomfortable, but if I’m in a position where people are listening, I’m going to lend my voice to it. I believe conversations can help us move through these difficult things,” Watts added.
Watts, who appeared in the Quentin Tarantino film Django Unchained, and her boyfriend were not present during the brief hearing at the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office.
On September 11, police officers received several calls claiming that a couple were having sex inside a Mercedes Benz with the doors open. Police found Watts and her boyfriend, Brian James Lucas, on the scene. The Django Unchained actress refused to provide identification when asked by the police. This prompted the cops to detain and question her.
In California, you can choose to not provide identification to the cops unless you’re involved in an ongoing investigation. “If you are being investigated for another offense and your identity is important to the investigation of the offense, then you must by state law comply with the legal officers and the legal authority of the officer, which is to request your I.D.,” LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said.
The incident made the news when Watts contacted various news agencies claiming that she was the victim of racial profiling. She initially drew the support of several civil rights activists, however they then urged her to apologize after an audio tape of the incident surfaced.
The tape revealed that Watts was being uncooperative with the police officers. Pictures of Watts straddling Lucas in the car before police arrived also surfaced, supporting the police reports.
[Image via YouTube]