The tide of public opinion seems to have fully turned against actress Daniele Watts after she suggested racial profiling was behind her police stop in Studio City last week.
Her white boyfriend, self-proclaimed “rawk star chef” Brian James Lucas, went so far as to say cops questioned Watts and himself as if they were “ho and trick.” Los Angeles Police Department audio of some of the confrontation, however, revealed absolutely zero racism at play. And TMZ photos of the pair appeared to show them having sex in a car, or something close to it, which was the reason for a police response all along, according to the LAPD.
Now some of L.A.'s most prominent African American leaders are denouncing Watts:
Project Islamic Hope President Najee Ali, Los Angeles Urban Policy Roundtable President Earl Ofari Hutchinson and other local civil rights leaders have lined up against Watts' claims that her race drove police to single her out for an investigation on the afternoon of Sept. 11.
The leaders will officially call her out during a 9:30 a.m. press conference today at the studios of KTYM 1460 AM in Inglewood, according to a statement. They also “demand” that the actress to apologize to the LAPD.
The leaders say new information has “cast doubt” on Watts' claim against the cops.
The actress, known for her work in Django Unchained and Weeds, told a sergeant who stopped her for questioning, “Do you know how many times the cops have [been] called for being black?”
She repeatedly refused the cop's request for her name or identification, saying that she didn't have to give up her identity, a claim that's disputed by interpretations of the law from some of the largest District Attorney's offices in California.
(The ACLU of Southern California continues to argue that suspects stopped for questioning do not have to utter their identity or show a license to officers).
At times during Watts' encounter, she appeared to act entitled, telling the sarge that she has a publicist and that her father wanted to talk to him on the phone. She reportedly had just been to a meeting at the adjacent CBS studios lot.
Although police were dispatched based on a 911 complaint that two people, who might reasonably fit a description of Watts and her boyfriend, were having sex in a parked car, cops ultimately let them go, and the sergeant said that if she would have ID'd herself from the get-go the ordeal would have been over a lot sooner.
Meanwhile, Ali and Hutchinson said this in a joint statement:
Civil rights leaders take the charge of racial profiling seriously and is not to be claimed frivolously. Anyone who uses that charge to cover wrongdoing will be denounced. This is the case with Watts and this will send the message that there must be grounds for claims of racial profiling to be credible.