Cops arrest black actress for kissing white boyfriend in public

Actress Daniele Watts and her boyfriend Brian James Lucas (aka Cheffy BeLive) have taken to social media to protest Daniele’s recent arrest for prostitution.

The young black woman’s actual crime? Kissing her white boyfriend in public.

It seems someone saw the two kissing in public, didn’t like it, and told them to “stop putting on a show.” Minutes later, the police show up, and start asking Lucas questions which, he says, suggested that his girlfriend was actually a prostitute and he was her trick.


The police, who handcuffed the woman and then threw her in the back of their car, cutting her wrist, now claim that they never suggested she was a prostitute.

Then why exactly was the black woman arrested for kissing her white boyfriend?


I suspect the cops will say it’s because she refused to give them an ID. Yeah, well, I’d refuse to give the police an ID as well if my only offense was kissing someone the police didn’t want me to kiss. Like, say, another man.

Interestingly, a California CBS affiliate says that California has no law requiring you to show your ID to the police if you’re just walking down the street. But they do have the right to detain you if they have “reasonable suspicion” of something. So, if the cops didn’t reasonably suspect that Daniele was a hooker, why did they show up and question her in the first place?

More from the local CBS affiliate:

The LAPD said in a statement Sunday that officers responded to the location around 3:01 p.m. following a radio call of “indecent exposure.”

The couple learned from officers that someone at a nearby office building had called in the report. Watts had just gotten out of an interview at CBS Studios’ Radford lot and was sitting in the Mercedes-Benz on her boyfriend’s lap.

“The citizen who called the police to complain told the 911 operator that a male and a female were involved in indecent exposure inside a Silver Mercedes with the vehicle door open,” the statement alleged.

When officers arrived, police said they located two people who matched the description of the subjects.

Indecent exposure? Seriously? It was obvious from the moment the cops arrived that the couple wasn’t naked, so why did they need to ask for IDs? And what exactly did this call to the police say? I doubt the caller said “they were indecently exposed.” He probably said “they were making out.” And is the LAPD’s offical policy to ask for IDs of people accused of “making out”? Doubtful.

The police are now claiming that they never arrested Daniele, so they have no comment on what they consider a non-incident. Really? What do you handcuffing a woman and placing her in a squad car. And cutting her arm while so doing? A love tap?

Here’s Daniele’s account, then her boyfriend’s:

Today I was handcuffed and detained by 2 police officers from the Studio City Police Department after refusing to agree that I had done something wrong by showing affection, fully clothed, in a public place.

When the officer arrived, I was standing on the sidewalk by a tree. I was talking to my father on my cell phone. I knew that I had done nothing wrong, that I wasn’t harming anyone, so I walked away.

A few minutes later, I was still talking to my dad when 2 different police officers accosted me and forced me into handcuffs.

Now for the boyfriend:

Today, Daniele Watts & I were accosted by police officers after showing our affection publicly.

From the questions that he asked me as D 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).

This is something that happened to her and her father when she was 16. What an assumption to make!!!

Because of my past experience with the law, I gave him my ID knowing we did nothing wrong and when they asked D for hers, she refused to give it because they had no right to do so.
So they handcuffed her and threw her roughly into the back of the cop car until they could figure out who she was. In the process of handcuffing her, they cut her wrist, which was truly NOT COOL!!!

Not cool, indeed.


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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48 Responses to “Cops arrest black actress for kissing white boyfriend in public”

  1. Badgerite says:

    You put someone in handcuffs I think you can safely say that they are being detained whether anyone uses those words or not.
    It is illegal to have sex on a public street. Which was what the complaints the police received alleged. And apparently there are pictures on the internet now and descriptions of witnesses who 1) asked them to please stop doing it ( which they ignored) and 2) called the police about it which demonstrate that that is exactly what they were doing. According to reports, they were putting on a bit of a show. On a public street. With the car door open.
    That is not legal. It constitutes public lewdness.

  2. Jay Purti says:

    You are incorrect; to begin with the officer did NOT tell her she was detained, therefore, no violation of a law occured. NO officer can legally ask for identification if a subject is NOT being detained.

  3. PeteWa says:

    “Yes, the police could have spent the rest of their shift taking statements (and hoping the witnesses later showed up in court), filling out paperwork and filing a report”

    in other words, they could have spent their time doing their job.

    “Is this really the job we want them doing, or do we want them to use some discretion”

    honestly, the job they did is not the job I want them doing. IF they are going to bother to respond to a “lewd” call in from some prudish busybody and when they show up nothing is happening, I want them to move on.
    I don’t want them randomly harassing people, I don’t want them to be overbearing and overzealous morality patrol.

  4. Pennywise says:

    Suspects don’t have the right to walk away from the scene of an investigation. That’s why she was cuffed. Pesky little details, I know.

  5. Charles McCain says:

    I am surprised and shocked that everyone is surprised and shocked that this happened. When one examines the intense racial animosity directed toward President Obama, what happened in Studio City California is simply “trickle down racism.”

    The debate over showing or not showing one’s ID or walking away or not walking away is just splitting hairs. To the hysterical woman who called the police, white guy plus black woman plus public display of affection equals a serious crime in her eyes as it does in the eyes of many Americans, most especially white, conservative, right-wing, tea party Americans. (The reverse of black man and white women equals a felony to this same group)

    At least this did not take place in the Deep South or my native state of South Carolina which spared us from the standard explanation by Mr. Aravosis that such things constantly happen, “down south.”

    However, as you will note, this happened in California. Sad to say, but the sight of two gay guys holding hands and walking down the street in that same neighborhood would not have generated a call to the police. But a white guy kissing an African-American woman—by God, Katie Scarlett, call the cops!

  6. John Masters says:

    I agree Lalock. While different in many respects, I had a problem at a construction site across the street. My town has a noise ordinance that says you can’t make noise over a certain level prior to 10am on Sunday’s. Unfortunately, a bunch of sub-contractors didn’t think that applied to them, and we regularly were awakened early on Sunday mornings. I’d call the police (non-emergency number), and they’d show up. Explain it to that sub-contractor, who’d go get breakfast until 10 am. As long as the workers didn’t give them a hassle, and agreed to wait, the police moved on. I even saw them ride back by later to confirm they crews didn’t start back up.

    That’s all this was. There was a complaint…whether someone was doing what was claimed seems to be up for discussion, but all the cops wanted to do here was make sure there wasn’t anything going on, resolve the situation, and let everyone get on about their day.

  7. CandaceTX says:


  8. John Masters says:

    I know some cops, and in the past have ridden with them. I’m not a huge fan of most people who go into law enforcement today, but I think these cops were behaving rationally. Someone complained about “lewd” activities. Well, if they’d been having sex in the car, it was wrong, but obviously wasn’t too big a deal, as it was over by the time the police arrived. So, they just wanted to ask about it, and ultimately, the goal here was get this couple to move on if there was nothing amiss at the time.

    Yes, the police could have spent the rest of their shift taking statements (and hoping the witnesses later showed up in court), filling out paperwork and filing a report, issuing tickets or arresting people, doing the booking…and all because a couple may or may not have gone a little too far in their PDAs. Is this really the job we want them doing, or do we want them to use some discretion, and see if they can’t just settle the issue, and everyone move on?

    Mostly the cops wanted to be sure it wasn’t a case of prostitution, and I’d suspect that had nothing to do with the race of the two people, and then just have them move on so Mrs. Kravits (as someone notes above) can get her knickers unwrapped.

    Yes, cops can be overbearing and zealous. Yes, they often forget the Constitution is out there, but I really didn’t see this as such an overreaction.

  9. Badgerite says:

    She wasn’t arrested. She was detained, briefly, at the site because she started walking away from the site before the police had determined what was going on. The police were there because someone in the neighborhood who thought she was a hooker and had called them. And ‘Mrs. Kravitiz’ apparently called because the detained woman and her white boyfriend were noodling around out front in his car. She was detained, and handcuffs put on her, because she started walking away before the police had ascertained what the situation was.
    There is an audio of the incident available at TMZ. The police were mostly respectful, though things did deteriorate at the point where she tells the guy she wants his name so that she can give it to her ‘publicist’.
    He did give his name.

  10. vitodanelli says:

    Yawn …

    an uppity, obnoxious Nigress gets her comeuppance

  11. mjverite says:

    It’s time to demand that police forces behave as our servants (which they are) and not our masters (which they most certainly are not). Our founding fathers are spinning in their graves.

  12. pricknick says:

    For the best remark on this post, go to the first one.

  13. Silver_Witch says:

    Actually you used to be able to refuse to produce your ID…and in fact Bill Murphy the actor used to do a nice presentation about refusing to produce your ID so that other would not be presumed guilty when they refused to produce theirs. However, there was always the potential that you would be taken to the station until they could determine who you were – cause well police have never liked people who don’t do as they asy..

    Now, anywhere, the police are out of control and refusing to provide identification is a dangerous adventure. And even here in California you will probably be detained if you refuse to identify yourself. I don’t agree with this behavior – I do however believe there are consequences to our actions and we must accept those consequences, sadly no matter how unfair.

    “In a more recent pamphlet, the ACLU of Northern California elaborated on this further, recommending that a person detained by police should:

    . . . give your name and the information on your drivers’ license. If you don’t, you may be arrested, even though the arrest may be illegal.[46]

  14. GarColga says:

    Haha I’m a racist! No one who knows me would agree with that. You are an idiot, and a mean-spirited one at that.

  15. judybrowni says:

    Under California law, she can refuse to produce her ID when being questioned or
    even when being arrested.
    Now, with that in mind, find the racists below who are pulling opinions from so far up their colons it’s amazing!

  16. judybrowni says:


    You’re not hiding your racism, by pulling your opinions out of your ass.

  17. judybrowni says:

    Less here than somewheres.

  18. judybrowni says:

    You’re not hiding your racism by pulling your opinions out of your ass.

  19. pricknick says:

    I’m not happy with the way Obama has handled his presidency.
    Yet I’m absolutely thrilled with the vermin that have exposed themselves since he became one.
    Racism is out in the open where we need it.
    And cops? I don’t hate them but I don’t trust the ones I know.

  20. Houndentenor says:

    Yes, but when they arrived and there was no evidence of illegal activity, they could have moved on.

  21. GarColga says:

    Not really, he showed his ID when asked.

  22. mirror says:

    Just checking for warrants – the primary objective of ANY contact with a black citizen, no matter how poor or rich they look or act. Keeping the black rabble in check and in court is one of their raison d’etre. That is the lesson of Furgeson and St. Louis county. People in other communities need to decide whether they do or don’t want to continue toward that extreme, although it may be too late….

  23. zerosumgame0005 says:

    too much work for lazy cops Joyce…

  24. zerosumgame0005 says:

    there also WAS a call to cops about that black guy in Wal-Mart “waving around an AK-47” that turned out to be an air gun. Of course they didn’t bother to look at the security video that completely showed that complaint was a DIRECT RACIST LIE before they murdered him. So do you believe the tapes or a racist scumbag or just depend on the all to often fake reports the cops put out?

  25. mirror says:

    Wait. They either DIDN’t want to hassle somebody once they knew there wasn’t public sex, or they DID want to hassle somebody once they knew there wasn’t public sex. You can’t have it both ways.

    Since they DID hassle somebody once they knew there wasn’t public sex, we can conclude that they DID want to hassle somebody.

    Once they didn’t have something in front of them to investigate, then they were just using it as a pretext to check for warrants. In the real world, making pretext stops so you can check for warrants is the definition of police harassment, and the fundamental foundation of pernicious and socially destructive racially biased police engagement with the public.

  26. elliegrll says:

    There was a complaint, but when the police arrived these two people weren’t doing anything wrong. You are also assuming that the police have special powers, so they knew that these two people are the ones who were at the center of the complaint. They assumed that they were, since they were together.

  27. elliegrll says:

    How shocking and surprising that they cuffed and detained Daniele Watts, but not her boyfriend.

  28. JoyceH says:

    Sigh yourself. The police explanation makes no sense whatsoever. They allegedly received a report of ‘public lewdness’, come across this couple and detain them, and the problem is that the woman won’t show ID? Huh?! How would ID prove anything one way or the other? Hookers don’t have drivers’ licenses? If they really were investigating such a complaint, they could have gone to the complainant and ASKED if these were the people being publicly lewd. But showing an ID doesn’t prove anything one way or the other. Maybe a complaint got called in or maybe not, but the police weren’t ‘investigating’ anything – they were harassing an interracial couple. That’s all it was.

  29. Naja pallida says:

    Detaining someone as they did, unfortunately does not require probable cause. Just reasonable suspicion, which a complaint from the public is enough to warrant. Doesn’t mean it doesn’t make the cops look ridiculous, and one can always file a wrongful action complaint.

  30. Indigo says:

    The old school Keystone Kops are back.

  31. UncleBucky says:

    If indeed there was a bit more than sucking face, a-hem, where is the “HEY, get a room!!!” preface to calling the police?!!

    Danged Calvinists. The thumpers, you know, are rampant in California…

  32. UncleBucky says:

    And it wasn’t the “color” of her shorts, lemme tell you…

  33. CandaceTX says:

    If a crime has been reported, where are the tickets or citations issued for that reported crime? If a crime was committed, did this officer let them just go after committing it. These two say there was no crime and they did nothing wrong. Why didnt officer take statements from the caller’s building?

  34. Indigo says:

    Maybe in Kansas.

  35. JoyceH says:

    Umm… black people reaching for their IDs sometimes wind up dead. See Amadou Diallo.

  36. Lalock says:

    But there WAS a complaint they were doing something wrong. Why is this so difficult for people to comprehend? The police are supposed to investigate reports of criminal activity.

    Sigh. I give up. I’m no fan of police, but I’m not going to get outraged when they ask questions when a crime’s been reported.

  37. Gindy51 says:

    You don’t have to show ID if you are not doing anything wrong. Why are you buying into the fascist state, hon? Papers please????

  38. Lalock says:

    I’m not sure if a citizen complaint rises to the level of probable cause, but it seems to me it probably should. But I’m not a lawyer.

    So the police got a call that two people — a white man and black woman — were having sex in plain view in a car on the street. Police get to the scene, and standing next to the car described is a white man and black woman making out on the sidewalk. I just don’t see that the police did anything wrong in investigating them and asking questions.

  39. Gene Perry says:

    Yes, the police have the “right” to ask for ID, but I/you/we have the right to say no.

  40. Lalock says:

    Sure, but what if the cops didn’t want to hassle anyone as soon as they knew there wasn’t any public sex happening? From what I’ve read, they just wanted to look at an ID, say, “Okay,” and then everyone goes their separate ways. I just don’t see this as the cops doing anything wrong.

  41. Lalock says:

    No, if they have reports of illegal activity, or suspect illegal activity has taken place, they have the right to ask for identification. There was a report. This wasn’t stop and frisk.

  42. CandaceTX says:

    if they had walked to the building where the complaintants were, taken witness statements, based on them, they could have issued tickets/citations for public lewdness. Doing their job correctly, not only protects citizens, but it also protects the officer.

  43. Lalock says:

    Given the reports I’ve read, the police didn’t really give a crap if they had had sex in the car, as long as it still wasn’t happening. Once the cop arrived and saw that they weren’t having sex in public, she seemed to realize that there wasn’t going to be any arrest, but felt the need to pay lip service to “investigation.” The policewoman even told the boyfriend that if she had just showed ID when asked, Daniele would never have been handcuffed. In fact, as soon as she did show her ID, she was immediately let go.

    I’m no police defender by any stretch of the imagination, and have spoken out strongly against the militarization of police and the asshole authoritarian mindset of “Respect my authoriteh!” that WAY too many cops show. But I honestly don’t see this as anything more than a somewhat disinterested cop just trying to make sure nothing lewd was going on, and Daniele going all “I’m being repressed!” à la Holy Grail.

  44. vickif says:

    Unless police saw them performing sex acts in the car, they do not have the right to questions based on that complaint.

  45. Lalock says:

    According to other accounts I’ve read, including CNN, police were responding to a citizen complaint that they were performing sexual acts in the car. I don’t know if they were actually doing anything lewd, but police do have the right to ask questions based on that complaint.

  46. CandaceTX says:

    The police *say* witnesses called in reporting they were having sex in the car.
    So the question for me is simple: While they had her detained, did an officer walk across the street to the office building that complained and interview the complainants? If they had/did, police should have/could have issued a ticket or citation for public lewdness.

    …the fact that that does not appear to have happened, makes me question the story from the police.

  47. Bodhi says:

    Pigs snorting for truffles

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