Django actress: racially profiled, or causing sensation?

The recent police brutality cases involving Michael Brown of Ferguson, Mo., and Eric Garner of New York City were nothing but tragic to the country because they began a huge disconnect and trust issue between law enforcement and African-Americans.

However, there comes a time when using the race card cannot always work, when cops have the right to do their job.

Actress Daniéle Watts, known for her appearances in Django Unchained and the recent TV show Partners, was detained by Los Angeles police for allegedly performing a lewd act in a car with her boyfriend, celebrity chef Brian James Lucas, in the Studio City neighborhood of Los Angeles. According to The Los Angeles Times, Watts refused to show police her identification, which led police to believe that she was a prostitute.

The situation turned into a huge blowout after Watts accused the police officer, a Latino male, of violating her rights and racially profiling them; she is black and Lucas is white. She wholeheartedly said that they were only French kissing in the car, but several witnesses reportedly saw them doing more than that.

According to New York Daily News, Watts yelled emotionally to the cops, “I know my rights, I played a cop on TV and I know that when someone asks for ID you aren’t required to give it to them … I’m on a major sitcom right now, and I’m still getting put in handcuffs because I’m making out with my boyfriend in a public space.”

First of all, playing a cop on TV does not justify anything. Secondly, being a celebrity on a major sitcom does not matter to police if she allegedly had public sex.

In a surprising twist in the recording of the incident, according to Madame Noire, Lucas conversed with the officer in a respective manner, allegedly putting the blame more on her to make him look better in the situation.

“This is a very sensitive subject to her. You know, the black and white […] It’s not as sensitive to me because I know where you’re coming from […] I know you don’t wanna deal with stuff like this. This is not a protect and serve issue,” Lucas told the officer, according to Madame Noire.

Her boyfriend seems a bit devious, because the next day on Facebook he posted, “Our freedom isn’t freedom folks, when people can abuse others with no reason or evidence at all just because they “think” they have been given the power by people that are ONLY equal to us. Of course, they had to let her go eventually cuz we weren’t a threat to anyone. They weren’t expecting D to be so intelligent and outspoken…”

Lucas added on his post that because of his past experiences with the law, he gave them his ID, yet Watts had the right to not show hers. That makes absolutely no sense at all. It would make a lot more sense if he had told Watts to show her ID, to avoid a problem.

Additionally, TMZ released photos of Watts and Lucas fully clothed sitting in an inappropriate position in the passenger seat with the car door open. Witnesses claimed that Lucas exposed Watts’ breasts and that she was sitting on top of him, grinding.

Overall, this was not an issue of race, but just overbearing drama about a public display of affection. The police officer was very respectful to her, and specific about why he detained her, so they had every right to ask for identification. Watts would not have been detained if she had cooperated with the officer.

It was wrong for Watts to make her incident seem to be another racial conflict. However, when the story first came out, the message was in her favor because the details of what they were actually doing in the car was not yet out to the public. The police were just doing their job; not all officers are targeting civilians because of their race.