Yet again, YET AGAIN, police officers have demonstrated a penchant for the world's worst cocktail of racism and aggression, having briefly taken into custody a black woman they assumed was a prostitute. Why, you ask? Because she was publicly displaying affection with a white man, who in reality is her partner. What the ever loving fuck.
According to actress Danièle Watts and her husband (they're in an Open Relationship on Facebook) Brian James Lucas, two officers from the Studio City police department approached the couple, suspecting Watts of being a prostitute. While Lucas provided the officers with his ID (when they asked), Watts refused to—because she was doing nothing wrong. (Seriously, all the folks who think that the issue stems from Watts' refusal to give her ID rather than the police officers accusing a black woman of "criminal" activity because she dared to be romantic in public can fuck off.) So they cuffed her. According to Watts' Facebook post:
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.
As I was sitting in the back of the police car, I remembered the countless times my father came home frustrated or humiliated by the cops when he had done nothing wrong. I felt his shame, his anger, and my own feelings of frustration for existing in a world where I have allowed myself to believe that "authority figures" could control my BEING… my ability to BE!!!!!!!
Here's Lucas' take on the matter, also posted to Facebook with pictures of Watts in handcuffs standing next to two police officers:
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).
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!!!
Of course, they had to let her go eventually cuz we weren't a threat to anyone.
According to Variety, an LAPD public information officer stated that because Watts was not brought into the station for questioning, there was no record of the incident.
Watts, an actress, has appeared in Weeds, Django Unchained (as Coco), and currently stars in Partners. She's a pretty visible member of society. But there are plenty of black women who undergo the same treatment and whose voices will not be heard. Where there is a woman of color, some form of authority will appear clutching at her agency, exoticizing her, and punishing her for their own crude sexualization.
Image via Brian James Lucas' Facebook.