Sunday, September 14, 2014


Brave, that's the first word that comes to mind whenever I see an interractial couple. Relationships are not easy to begin with. So to make the conscious decision to engage in one that is still considered taboo by many here in "progressive" America is quite admirable. I cannot honestly say that I would have the patience or the courage to do so, and examples like the one in this story is one reason why.

African-American actress Danièle Watts claims she was "handcuffed and detained" by police officers from the Los Angeles Police Department at CBS's Studio City production facility on Thursday after allegedly being mistaken for a prostitute.

According to accounts by Watts and her husband Brian James Lucas, two police officers mistook the couple for a prostitute and client when they were seen showing affection in public. When the officers asked Watts to produce a photo ID when questioned, she refused. Watts was subsequently handcuffed and placed in the back of a police cruiser while the officers attempted to figure out who she was. The two officers released Watts shortly thereafter.

Watts says that she had accompanied a friend to a diversity showcase before meeting Lucas at his car. "I sat on his lap in the front seat of the car and we start making out," she told BuzzFeed. A man from a nearby office came out and asked the couple to “stop putting on a show.” The police arrived shortly thereafter.

Watts, who played CoCo in Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained and currently stars in Martin Lawrence vehicle Partners, posted an account of the incident on her Facebook page: 

"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," wrote Watts. "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!!!!!!!"

Watt's husband Brian Lucas, who is white, claimed that the two were targeted by police for being an interracial couple and, while police didn't explicit ask Watts if she was a prostitute, asked questions laden with innuendo. In a separate post on his Facebook page, Lucas said that "from the questions that [police] 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)."

An Los Angeles Police Department public information officer told variety that "there was no record of the incident as Watts wasn’t arrested or brought into the station for questioning."

Sadly, this isn't the first time something like this has happened. In 2008, a Galveston, Texas couple sued three police officers who arrested and beat their 12-year-old daughter after mistaking her for a prostitute. And at the 2011 Netroots Nation convention in Minneapolis, Minn., Cheryl Contee of Jack and Jill Politics asked a panel of African-American women to raise their hands if they had ever been mistaken for a prostitute. Everyone’s hands went up.



  1. Not sure what to say here. Even though this is 2014 (almost 2015) I would not participate in an interracial relationship because, as you said yourself, it requires "courage" and "patience"--I'm not willing to do all of that for someone who might call me a nigger. I can see why the police thought that this woman was a "prostitute". The obvious: this is America; she's sitting on his lap in his car (God only knows what the cops thought that she was doing); she's a Black woman; he's a White man.) Question for you: shouldn't Ms. Watts/Mrs. Lucas have shown her identification? If no, why not? I would rather show my identification, than be handcuffed and placed in the back of a police cruiser. Yes, I know--its almost like having to show a "pass" to White people back in slavery days, but if you're going to be defiant--geez-Louise--don't CRY about it!! My mom always said that it was not appropriate to show displays of affection in public. (Mom was on to something!) Didn't this woman and this man own a house or apartment where they could run with abandon and do whatever they felt like doing behind CLOSED doors?? Why was it in a car in the street?? (Just Low Class!) It must have been going on for a while because a man called the police! She says she felt her father's "shame"--well not so fast--your father's shame was because he just happened to be a Black man in a White man's country---your "shame"--as far as I'm concerned is not knowing which venue to use for your "love"making. Also, if Jack & Jill Politics is the offshoot of Jack & Jill, well it is hard to believe that these women were ever thought to be "prostitutes" by the police. The thought that all of these women raised their hands is inconceivable. I question that. Sorry.

    1. She should have definitely shown her ID, stayed out of the police car, and took a stand later. Once she did commit to noncompliance she shouldn't have cried. I am not a huge fan of PDA's myself, and their behavior was a little over the top. But the question is. If there were both white would the same assumption have been made? I think not!

  2. I just think that some things aren't worth the trouble. This is something that this woman and her man could have prevented. If they are not domiciled, then a hotel room might be the answer. Sorry, no sympathy here--not sure if we can blame everything on race, although I will admit that Cornel West does say "Race Matters".

  3. It definitely was not worth the trouble, and while race may not have been a factor in this case, the point is definitely arguable which leads me to another point. In playing the "race card" at times when we think it could be a factor, are we in fact nullifying it? Thus making the application to unequivocal racism a little less potent.

  4. I disagree. A husband and wife should be able to kiss in their car if they want to! If both of them were white, perhaps if both were black, they would not have thought she was a prostitute. The cops' racist assumption was, "no way could this white man be kissing this black woman because she was his wife. In the cops' eyes she was not equal to this black man. I understand why she refused to show her ID. She was insulted and outraged. It is dangerous when people, black or white accept racist acts, and make excuses for the racist.

  5. Dear Anonymous: Isn't life great? We can all have our own opinions. You've got yours and I've got mine.

  6. While husbands and wives should be allowed to do have PDA's in public, like anything else they must be prepared for what might follow. Especially if they know what could follow.