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Actress Daniele Watts is giving further explanation for why she reacted the way she did when she was confronted by the Los Angeles Police Department in September.
The Los Angeles Times reports that Watts participated in a panel discussion at USC’s School of Law on Monday, where she said that being the victim of racial profiling in the past is what caused her to “explode” at the police officer.
Watts and boyfriend Brian James Lucas were questioned by police on Sept. 11 about a report that a couple was having sex in a car, with Watts refusing to show identification. Shortly after the incident, Watts claimed on Facebook that she and her boyfriend had only been “showing affection, fully clothed, in a public place.”
On Monday, Watts said society as a whole needs to examine how it deals with race. “At a certain point, enough is enough, and somebody has to say something,” the Django Unchained actress said. She also mentioned the police shooting of Michael Brown earlier this year in Ferguson, Mo., along with having witnessed her father getting profiled when she was 16.
Watts addressed both racism and sexuality in her discussion. “You have to work twice as hard to get what the other, white girls in your class are going to just get handed to them,” she told the students, according to CBS 2.
On Oct. 21, Watts and Lucas were both charged with lewd conduct for the September incident and are due in court Nov. 13. The misdemeanor charge could lead to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.
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