Daniele Watts is a black actress who knows enough about the racism of yore, having played the maid of Leonardo DiCaprio's sick and twisted plantation owner in Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained. But her knowledge of racism is now very modern and very first hand after officers 'handcuffed and detained' her in what she says was a case of racial profiling.
The actress was being affectionate in public with her husband, Brian James Lucas, who happens to be white, when two police officers came up to her and asked her to produce photo ID. When she refused, she was handcuffed and held in a police car. This was in Studio City, Los Angeles, by the way. According to a post on her Facebook fan page, her wrist was cut by the handcuffs.
After her release shortly afterwards, she posted photos of the ordeal to Facebook. They show her handcuffed and crying. She explained: '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.'
She says she had been on the phone to her dad at the time the officers 'accosted her' 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' she's written online about the incident. 'Those cops could not stop me from expressing myself. They could not stop the cathartic tears and rage from flowing out of me. They could not force me to feel bad about myself. Yes, they had control over my physical body, but not my emotions.'
Brian, who is a chef, also had this to say about the incident on his Facebook page: '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).'
He added that, sadly, Daniele has had something similar happen to her before: 'This is something that happened to her and her father when she was 16. What an assumption to make!!!'
Well, yeah, there's more than one assumption at play here, and they're both totally gross. First of all, the there's the assumption that mixed race couples don't actually exist outside of a prostitute/client set up. Secondly, that if a man is soliciting sex from a woman, it's the woman who's the guilty party and not the man.
Racism and racial profiling is a big issue in America right now. Last month there were over two weeks of riots in Ferguson, Missouri, following the killing of Michael Brown, a black teenager who had apparently been surrendering when he was shot six times by an officer.
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This article originally appeared on The Debrief.