An actress who accused Los Angeles police of racially profiling her in a lewd conduct case has agreed to apologize to the three officers who detained her months after the incident took place. Daniele Watts, who acted in the movie “Django Unchained,” pleaded no contest on Monday to disturbing peace with loudness after police responded to reports that she was having sex with her boyfriend in a parked car in September, NBC News reported.
The three officers had briefly detained Watts and her boyfriend, Brian Lucas, before releasing them later in the day. Watts condemned the officers’ decision in a Facebook post, claiming they had both been fully clothed. She wrote: "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."
Watts was initially defended by several civil rights activists, but after footage from the incident was released, they called for her to apologize. "I was one that was very outspoken about it," Los Angeles Urban Policy Roundtable head Earl Hutchinson said, according to NBC LA. “We take racial profiling very seriously. It's not a play thing. It's not trivial."
He reportedly said that after he saw photos that appeared to show Watts straddling Lucas in the car, he believed there was “probable cause” for their detention, and called Watts’ Facebook post “crying wolf.”
Watts and Lucas were sentenced to 40 hours of community service and a year of "formal diversion" that usually entails counseling. The two were also reportedly ordered to write apology letters to the three officers and occupants of the nearby building where they were detained. Charges of lewd conduct were removed from their records.
Lou Shapiro, an attorney for the pair, told the Los Angeles Times, "It was a very emotionally charged case," adding, "I think it's a nice ending to an emotionally charged case, to have a letter of apology. It's a win for everybody."