Actress Daniele Watts, whose Facebook post about being detained by the Los Angeles Police Department went viral over the weekend, continues to rail against her perceived mistreatment.
While being interviewed by CNN on Monday, Watts, who has appeared in Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained and TV shows Weeds and Partners, said that she refused to give an LAPD officer her identification when he asked for it because, "I believe in America and what it stands for."
Watts claims she was detained because officers thought she was a prostitute. The actress, who is African American, and her white boyfriend, celebrity chef Brian James Lucas, have accused police of racism for questioning them after they say they were just "making out" in public.
The incident happened outside of CBS Studio Center in Studio City on Thursday, and picked up attention over after Watts detailed her account on her Facebook page, stating, "officers accosted me and forced me into handcuffs."
"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," wrote Lucas. "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!"
An LAPD spokesman said officers from its North Hollywood precinct were responding to a citizen complaint.
"There was an indication on the radio call that a male white and female black were involved in a sexual act inside a Mercedes with the vehicle door open," Officer Sally Madera told CNN. "Two people were briefly detained, but it was revealed no crime had been committed."
Witnesses inside the Directors Guild office building told police they saw the couple having sex in the passenger seat of the vehicle, with the door open, according to TMZ. Watts told NBC News that while on the CBS lot they were approached by a man in a suit and asked to leave because "employees were distracted" by their PDA. She says they laughed it off and stopped a few minutes later.
"Somebody called the police saying there was lewd acts in the car, I have to ID you," Sgt. Jim Parker can be heard saying after Watts asks him what the issue is.
"Do you know how many times the cops have been called just for being black, because I'm black and he's white?" Watts replies. “I'm just being really honest, sir."
"Who brought up a race card? Why? I said nothing about you being black," Parker, responds.
"I'm bringing it up because I have every right to be here," she says.
"And I have every right to ask for your ID," he continues.
"And I have every right to say no, and if you'd like to demand it you can take me down to the court office and I can make a scene about it. And you know what I have a publicist, and I work as an actress," Watts says.
"I'm mildly interested," Parker says sarcastically. "I'm going to get your ID —"
"I'm going to say no," she interjects, "and if you'd like my ID you can say that I am resisting arrest." Parker tells her she is interfering, not resisting.
"I have not done anything wrong," she insists. "I'm on the phone with my father, my stepmom is dying."
"Do you know what probable cause is? I have probable cause. We received a radio call here," Parker says, before adding, "Thanks for bring up the race card, we never hear that."
California law says that if police have reasonable suspicion, they are permitted to detain an individual for a reasonable amount of time in order to ascertain the person's identity. Police said Monday they followed proper protocol when they demanded identification.
"I'd already be gone," Parker tells Lucas regarding her ID, as Watts storms off. Eventually, she is cuffed for leaving the scene.
Parker later tells Watts it would have only taken "five minutes" if she would have offered identification, as Lucas did without any complaint.
An internal complaint investigation has been initiated regarding the incident. LAPD Capt. Stephen Carmona of the North Hollywood station told the Los Angeles Times "because of the allegations that were raised … we're going to look into it.... We take all of these things really seriously, and we're going to ask the hard questions."
Watts says today that she still has no regrets for not just handing over her ID when asked.
"I believe in freedom," she tells CNN. "I think a country that calls itself the land of the free and the home of the brave, if I'm within my amendment rights, my constitutional rights to say no unless you are charging me with a crime, I will not be giving you my ID. That is a right that I stand up for… because of the people that fought so hard for the rights that came before me, all people… it's beyond race at this point."