"Django" Actress Claims Cops "Humiliated" Her for PDA - NBC4 Washington

"Django" Actress Claims Cops "Humiliated" Her for PDA

Police said an internal investigation has been launched into the incident

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    "Django Unchained" Actress Claims Wrongful Detainment

    An actress who had a role in the film “Django Unchained” claimed on Facebook that she was wrongfully detained by two Los Angeles Police Department officers for publicly showing affection to a companion in Studio City. Police said Sunday that they responded to a report of indecent exposure. Read the full story here. (Published Monday, Sept. 15, 2014)

    An actress who had a part in the film "Django Unchained" claimed on Facebook that she was "humiliated" and forced into handcuffs by two Los Angeles Police Department officers for publicly showing affection to a companion in Studio City Thursday.

    In the Facebook post, which had nearly 2,000 shares by Sunday, actress Daniele Watts says she was put into a police car after refusing to agree that she had done "something wrong by showing affection, fully clothed, in a public space."

    "I allowed myself to be honest about my anger, frustration, and rage as tears flowed from my eyes," Watts wrote on Facebook. "The tears I cry for a country that calls itself 'the land of the free and the home of the brave' and yet detains people for claiming that very right."

    Police said Sunday that they responded to a report of indecent exposure in the 11900 block of Ventura Boulevard when they came across Watts. LAPD's Sally Madera said a citizen reported seeing a couple engaged in a "sexual act" in a car.

    "The citizen who called the police to complain told the 9-1-1 operator that a male and a female were involved in indecent exposure inside a silver Mercedes with the vehicle door open," police said in a statement.

    A responding sergeant and officer questioned Watts and her companion, who matched the suspect description. Police determined no crime was committed and the couple was released after a brief detainment, officials said.

    Watts told NBC News Sunday that she and her partner were kissing inside their car at the CBS lot when they were approached by a man in a suit who asked them to leave because "employees were distracted." The couple stopped after a few minutes and police arrived shortly after, Watts said.

    When they asked for identification from Watts, she refused and walked away from the officers. Watts said that's when she was handcuffed and put into the police car.

    "I burst into tears. I was afraid because of all the things happening in the country right now," Watts told NBC News.

    Police said an internal investigation has been launched into the incident.

    "The cops are on thin ice here," said NBC4 legal analyst Royal Oakes. "California does not have a law that lets the cops force you to identify yourself, so to the extent the cops hassling this actress tried to get her to give her name and she said no, she had a right to remain silent."

    "She may have a basis for a civil rights action, an action saying that the police stepped over the line," Oakes added.

    Gadi Schwartz contributed to this report.