‘Django Unchained’ actress detained after 911 indecent-exposure call
Los Angeles police said Sunday that officers were responding to a 911 caller’s complaint of indecent exposure Thursday when they detained actress Daniele Watts.
Watts, who appeared in the movie “Django Unchained,” said on her Facebook account that she was handcuffed after kissing her companion in public.
Police said the caller complained that a male and a female were involved in indecent exposure inside a Silver Mercedes with the vehicle door open. Patrol officers and a sergeant from North Hollywood Division responded to the 11900 block of Ventura Boulevard in Studio City and “located two individuals that matched the description of the suspects, and they were briefly detained,” authorities said.
“Upon further investigation it was determined that no crime had been committed,” police said in a prepared statement. “Ms. Watts and her companion were subsequently released.”
An internal complaint investigation has been initiated regarding the incident, police said.
A video on Instagram shows Watts, who is African American, in handcuffs and visibly upset while speaking with a police officer.
“I put my hands behind my back and I just stood there -- you guys came and grabbed me,” a handcuffed Watts says to an officer in the video, telling him they did so “for no reason.”
A photo on Watts’ Facebook account also shows the actress handcuffed and crying, in a T-shirt, gym shorts and running shoes, while the police officer looks on.
“Today I was handcuffed and detained by 2 police officers … after refusing to agree that I had done something wrong by showing affection, fully clothed, in a public place,” Watts wrote on her page.
Watts wrote that she had been speaking with her father on her cellphone when an officer approached her. A few minutes later, two police officers put her in handcuffs.
“As I was sitting in the back of the police car, I remembered the countless times my father came home frustrated or humiliated by the cops when he had done nothing wrong,” Watts wrote.
Watts’ manager declined to comment Sunday.
The incident comes weeks after Beverly Hills police officers handcuffed and detained Charles Belk, an African American film producer who was visiting the city to attend a pre-Emmy party. Police officials later expressed regret, calling the incident “extremely unfortunate.”
The stories shaping California
Get up to speed with our Essential California newsletter, sent six days a week.
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.