Oh, Daniele Watts. I saw this story yesterday of her being arrested and handcuffed by the LAPD and thought the same thing I usually do when a Black person (Blacker if you're cool) is arrested: unless you're shot or dead, how is this news? I read her post as well as her boyfriends about this whole thing and shit just didn't quite add up to me. I know that since I'm Black that I'm supposed to side with Black people no matter what. OJ is innocent. Obama is a great president. Tupac is still alive. None of those things are true by the way. But then I heard the audio from the arrest. Oh, and just like every other article I must mention that she is Black and her boyfriend is White.
“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!!!!!!!” Watts wrote.
Now, the police weren't just rolling down the street just looking for mixed raced couples to harass. They were called by people who say they saw two people fucking in a car with the doors opened. They even mentioned them wiping themselves off afterward. They asked to see her identification and she immediately started yelling and talking over him while he tried to talk to her. She mentioned her publicist pulling the “Don't you know who I am?!” card as well as the race card. No! I didn't know who you were until I saw a picture from Django Unchained. Terrible movie by the way. Then her boyfriend chimed in. It's kinda long.
“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). This is something that happened to her and her father when she was 16. What an assumption to make!!!
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!!!
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, and left truly feeling the fear vibration finding out that they had just fucked with 2 celebrities (Celebrated People).
WE ALL HAVE THE SAME POWER INDIVIDUALLY IN THIS WORLD, AND I'M GLAD WE'RE ALL TAKING IT BACK ONE BEING AT A TIME! AllOne~OneLove!!!”
Lot of assumptions going on here. They think that whoever called the cops thought they were a hooker and a trick because it happened to her and her father before? Come on, now. Maybe they saw two people fucking in public and decided that was gross and called police. Either way this didn't have to be such a big deal. He showed his ID. Why wouldn't she? Cops ask me for mine I hand it over slowly so I don't get six warning shots in my chest. I don't talk about my occupation and how innocent I am of a crime.
And the boyfriend taking about the police not expecting Watts to be so “intelligent and outspoken”? Puh-lease! What's intelligent about shouting at the police? The officer actually says at one point as Watts continues to raise her voice and not comply “Keep yelling. That really helps.” And while it sucks that she cut her wrist while being handcuffed chances are she wouldn't have been if she just handed over her goddamn ID. Here is a transcription of some of the audio from DailyKos.
Officer: Who's the owner of the car?
Brian: That's me.
Officer: And registration?
Brian: Nah. (unintelligible)
Officer: What about her ID?
Brian: Well I have her passport.
Daniele in background on phone: Daddy? Daddy can you hold on for one second? Hold on. Hold on. What's the issue?
Officer: Somebody called the police saying there was lewd acts in the car. Doesn't matter I have to ID you.
Daniele (Crosstalk): There's no lewd act happening...we're not doing anything.
Officer: Somebody called...
Daniele: I'm on the phone with my dad. This is my boyfriend, sitting in the car.
Officer: I want to see your ID. Somebody called which means it gives me the right to be here, so it gives me the right to identify you. By Law.
Daniele: Do you know how many times I've been called...the cops have been called just for being Black? I'm black and he's white I'm just being real.
Officer: That is not...
Daniele: I'm just being really honest Sir.
Officer: Who brought up a Race Card?
Daniele: I'm bringing it up because...
Officer: I said nothing about you being black.
Daniele: And I have every right to be here.
Officer: And I have every right to ask for you ID.
Daniele: And I have a right to say “No.”
Officer: No, you do not have a right to say “No.”
Daniele: Okay, well you can take me down to the court office and I can make a scene about it.
Daniele: And you know what? I have a publicist. And I work as an actress at a studio.
Officer: I'm probably interested, that you have a publicist, but I'm gonna get your ID anyway.
Daniele: No, I'm going to say “No.” If you'd like my ID you can say that I'm resisting arrest...
Officer: There's no resisting, you're just interfering.
Daniele: I don't understand how we live in a free country where in at a parking lot and I'm making out with my boyfriend and I get arrested...
Officer: Gotta be careful. Little emotional.
Daniele: How do we live in a free country? (unintelligible)...for nothing.
Officer: What's your first name?
Officer: Why do you think you're in handcuffs.
Officer: Do you think we put you in handcuffs? Did we put you in handcuffs or did you do it?
Daniele: Did I put myself in handcuffs?
Officer: Who do you think put yourself in handcuffs? Who do you think put you in handcuffs?
Daniele: I think this officer right here put me in handcuffs.
Officer: No! I think you did the minute you left the scene.
Daniele: Yes, because I was....
Officer: Do you see?
Daniele: ...treated like a criminal...
Officer: Do you see the gentleman here in handcuffs? Is the gentleman here in handcuffs before you No, he's not.
Daniele: Do you think that I'm stupid?
Officer: I don't think you're stupid at all.
Daniele: What's your first name Officer Parker?
Officer: My name is Sargent Parker and that's all you need to know.
Daniele: Why don't...why do you need to know my first name but I don't know yours?
Daniele: Why don't...why do you need to know my first name but I don't know yours?
Officer: Because I need to identify you as the source of radio call.
Daniele: I think I'd like to identify you to my publicist, what's your first name?
Officer: Now you see why your in handcuffs?
Daniele: Why are you afraid of the news getting out that you're arresting somebody who was making out with her boyfriend?
Officer: I've been on the news many times.
California does not have a stop and identify law (known as a Terry stop) which means if she had just asked “Excuse me officer. Are you detaining me, or am I free to go?” she could have walked away. But she chose to make shit worse. On the other hand stirring shit can give the police a reason to detain you.
I can tell you from firsthand experience that my conversation would not have lasted this long if I were in the same situation. They ask for my ID I hand it over, answer any questions they may have, and hopefully leave free and to bitch about it on a blog later. Screaming about my rights, having them talk to family members on the phone, and telling them about my publicist would not help. Also, I don't have a publicist. Just too many blogs.
I have been stopped and questioned by police because of what I was wearing and because they thought I robbed a bank. In that instance I didn't get a stern talking to and a scar on my wrist. I had three guns aimed at my face. A while back Reese Witherspoon pulled this same routine for drunk driving and it got her ass tossed in jail. In each case the guy they were with did what he should've because we know that starting hit will get a knee in our backs or dead. Do I like cops? Fuck, no! I know that looking the way I do is not all that cool right now. I also know how to pick my battles. My ID is not that battle.