'Django Unchained' Actress Apologizes for "Heightened Emotions" When Detained by LAPD
The apology letter was part of a plea deal Daniele Watts and her boyfriend agreed to, which also includes 40 hours of community service, after they were charged with lewd conduct.
Django Unchained actress Daniele Watts and her boyfriend Brian James Lucas have written an apology letter to the Los Angeles police officers she accused of racially profiling her when they responded to a report the couple was having sex in a parked car.
The apology was part of a plea deal Watts and Lucas agreed to, which also includes 40 hours of community service, after they were both charged with lewd conduct. Before they were charged, they were both detained by the police. She wrote on her Facebook page shortly after the incident that she and Lucas were just being affectionate in public.
"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," she wrote. "When the officer arrived, I was standing on the sidewalk by a tree. I was talking to my father on my cellphone. 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."
Lucas, who is white, added on his own Facebook page that he believes the cops thought his girlfriend was a prostitute.
"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). ... What an assumption to make!!!"
She went on to insist, in a number of interviews and public remarks, that she and Lucas were just kissing and that the police were racially profiling them.
In a letter submitted on Thursday, which Watts tweeted a photo of, Watts and Lucas claim that her "heightened emotions" got the better of her.
"I allowed fear, shame and anxiety to prevent me from relating to you in a peaceful way," she said.
She explains that one of the officer's remarks seemed to touch on the ongoing issue of racial conflict and hit a nerve with her.
"With all the recent news coverage on the issue of biased policing, we probably all have a clearer understanding of the subtle — and often bizarre — ways that racial conflict continues to haunt many people in America," Watts wrote. "Sgt. Parker, when you said sarcastically, 'Thank you for bringing up the race card, I never hear that,' I felt provoked because I had previously encountered many disheartening experiences related to 'being black' both in my personal life, and as reflected in society overall. Your willingness to dismiss my experience with sarcasm was hurtful, and caused me to respond defensively."
She concludes by saying she thinks her and Lucas' experience allowed people to talk about and understand interracial relationships.
"I am grateful for our meeting because it allowed me to examine the shame and self-hatred I had been bottling inside, and release it," she wrote.
Watts and Lucas, who reposted Watts' Twitter photo on his Facebook page, said that their apology had been rejected by the court, with Lucas asking "WOW!!!! Is it 1984?"
I came from my heart today and wrote the most sincere apology letter I could muster and the court denied it. pic.twitter.com/miUZyoaj5n— watts ☆ playing (@danielewatts) August 6, 2015