New details in the Daniele Watts story, the black actress detained by police after showing her white boyfriend affection in public, have made this story a lot less nuanced in some ways and a lot more complicated in others then originally thought. While her boyfriend, Brian Lucas, showed his ID, Watts refused and was handcuffed in public before being released without charges. Both Watts and Lucas felt the police showed racial bias and that Watts was treated as if the police suspected she was a prostitute and Lucas her john. But images taken by witnesses show that maybe this was just some old-fashioned lewd behavior in public:
New photos posted online Wednesday appear to show actress Daniele Watts straddling her boyfriend in their parked car with her shirt pulled up to expose her breasts. …“They were f*cking,” [Los Angeles Police Sgt. Jim] Parker said a witness reported. “He was in the passenger seat with his legs outside.” … One of the workers [from across the street] asked the couple to stop, TMZ reported, but a witness said Lucas began “horizontally bongo-ing her boobs back and forth.” The witness said Watts grabbed a tissue a short time later from the center console, wiped Lucas off, and tossed it onto the grass along the street.
And an audio clip leaked from the incident that has an exchange between Lucas and the officer seems to also show that while he defended Watts online, Lucas suggested that she was “overly sensitive” about the “black and white.”
Nothing like a humiliating public incident and a little throwing under the bus to test the endurance of a relationship.
Team Blackness also discussed an expanding diversity gap between Democrats and Republicans, the truth about poor people, and Rush Limbaugh on seduction.
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If they were actually screwing in the car, WITH A DOOR OPEN, AND THE PUBLIC SEEING SEX, this is BOTH of their own faults. He didn’t “throw her under the bus”.
Double posting again. This time, though, it’s screwing up the comments page. I’m seeing both entries.
Well, egg on my face, I had said there was no way these claims were true. Ooops.
If it’s not racism, it’s sexism. Did Lucas get accused of prostitution?
This is why it is always a good idea to take a deep breath and wait a day before going to full foaming rage.
There still may have been racism and/or sexism involved in the incident but now we will never be able to find out or if we did to convince anyone that there was & it is important to discuss. This ends up being a win for the FOX propaganda machine as it confirms their POV and will be used in the future even when they are wrong.
@Belafon: To me, being a john is worse. And it is also a crime.
What? Do you want Balloon-Juice to dry up and blow away?
Fucking in public? Telling others to go fuck themselves when they object? My only problem with this whole incident now is that they both weren’t thrown in jail.
ETA: nice bumper on that Benz. I’ve been ticketed for less.
Still, IMO the cop could have arrived and said, sternly: “There was a report of lewd behavior here. Having sex in public is not tolerated and is against the law. Please move along. Thank you.” Then the whole thing is over, the cop did his job, the couple got a warning and the cop can go back to doing something more useful. Happily ever after.
Why even ask for ID? Having sex in public is wrong, but it hardly warrants a search and ID check, especially if nothing is going on when the cop shows up. He couldn’t have seen the photos by then.
Is sex in public a crime in LA?
I don’t know what occurred in that car. But I tend to agree with the lady.
THIS. IS. BALLOON-JUICE!
(Kicks heretic into conveniently placed bottomless pit)
Django unchained indeed.
These people are stupid. That is clearly a busy street, the office building is right there and the car door is open. Did they forget that pretty much everyone has a phone with a camera these days? Seems like they wanted the attention.
I agree with Jeff. Maybe more info will come out that indicates some official intervention was definitely justified. If new info is true, the situation was more complicated than seemed at first. But, from my admittedly dated by now, experience with LAPD and surrounding areas, there is always a good chance that some sexiam, racism, or classism will be displayed by the police down there. Even if these two were engaged in lewd conduct in public, that doesn’t excuse bad attitude from the police.
From what I saw of the officer’s crummy snotty attitude, that is not in league with beating on or shooting someone, but not excused.
And, that kind of attitude leads to taking advantage, suppose this was in OC, and lower class black Hispanic or SE Asian. The two might end up on a ‘gang list’ and the woman might get some strong hints about how to get removed from it. I mean, if she is loose enough to do it in public with some guy who might be her bfriend, right reasoning would indicate she would do it with a cop, who is better anyway than the punk she was with. Not saying I heard stuff about this from people involved when I was teaching in community college down there during grad school, just saying…
@Jeff: Is having sex in public an offense that would get you on the sex offender list in CA? I think indecent exposure will get you there in some states. Not snarking—I really don’t know.
@jayboat: It was when Hugh Grant was arrested.
Well Betty, there is your digital evidence.
(Mgrating this comment from the duplicate thread were it was first posted.)
@Tommy: Which lady? What do you agree with?
@Schlemazel: FOX would just invent some wrongheaded liberal outrage if they had to. Who cares?
Yeah, but the cop didn’t see anything illegal. I agree, it’s lewd behavior, but when the cop showed up, it could have been that they really did nothing wrong—what basis for questioning would he have other than an anonymous phone call?
And those photos don’t show even nudity anyway.
@Violet: Ditto George Michael
Her rap was bullshit from jump street.
They say the images show her with her shirt pulled up, but they’re so crappy you can’t make out enough detail to say one way or the other. Did anyone actually look at the things before running off to say they prove the witnesses are right?
You mean, the half dozen posts I read about this on different blogs were just people regurgitating the internet outrage du jour without being sure of their facts? That can’t be.
@Violet: Daniele Watts. The lady in the car.
@raven: I think this time she was wrapped up in the moment.
@Roger Moore: The post says “appears” and the article says “looks like”. If it quacks like a fuck. . .
@Tommy: And what do you agree with her on?
There remains disagreement among various lawyers giving their 2 cents, but the preponderance of opinion is the Cop had a right to ask for ID if he felt a crime had been committed.
Tissue Thin Pseudonym (JMN)
@Jeff: He could have reports from people there. Cops legitimately arrest people all the time for crimes that they didn’t actually witness. If he has eyewitness reports of a crime, he is then perfectly justified in asking questions. He may well be justified in asking for an ID and, depending upon what happened, he may be perfectly justified in arresting someone based solely upon eyewitness statements.
Knowing that the two of them were actually engaged in lewd behavior really does change this completely. Given the location, it even makes the cop’s suspicion of prostitution a lot more plausible. He may have been a racist, sexist asshole, but he also has probable cause.
OK. Seems bullshit to me though. You can just call and have the cops harass a couple just for kicks?
@Keith G: Maybe her father.
Fuck it, Dude, let’s go bowling.
The cop is talking:
@Jeff: “You can just call and have the cops harass a couple fucking in public just for kicks?”
@Brother Dingaling: They aren’t “real” minorities,
@raven: I think Jeff should try that and see how that works out for him.
@Schlemazel: That is true IF there is new information on the horizon that changes the scenario and that information will be made public. But there’s never any way to know that. This story could have ended with no more information ever coming out, or maybe with the police muttering that they found no evidence of wrong-doing by the officer a couple weeks from now when the topic is no longer of interest to most of the public.
The problem I have with “wait until we know more” is that while I agree it makes sense logically, it is also unfortunately a standard response by people who want to shut down ANY discussion of a topic. The jury is still out on climate change, evolution , whether child abuse is bad, etc. etc. It’s a stalling tactic with the hope that concern over issue X will simply go away if it can be continually punted down the road.
But what if they hadn’t been?Maybe they didn’t! It’s possible to crawl on top of someone without genital penetration occurring, and there’s no indication that anyone was nude.
Other than an anonymous phone call.
@Jeff: Sure can. If you really want to have fun, tell the cops that one of the parties appears to be having a dangerous mental breakdown. Hilarity is certain to ensue.
Pretty sure it’s considered a crime almost everywhere. Indecent exposure, lewd conduct and whatnot. Hardly the biggest thing society needs to worry about, but I would prefer not to have to explain to my six year old niece and nephew what those people were doing while walking back from the ice cream shop on a Saturday afternoon.
I do wonder, and this is perhaps the most relevant question to ask, is what if she had been white? I am not totally convinced that if she had been white and was as uncooperative, things would have been done differently. I do grant that it may have been an exaggerated response due to her race. I’m not sure, though, that is the case. However, it may definitely have been exaggerated because she is female.
Is there a way to fix these two identical posts????
@raven: Raven FTW…
@Betty Cracker: Yea I figure since it’s happened to Mr White more than once.
@Suzanne: Taking a leak in public will get you on that list. It’s bullshit but that’s how we roll here in the Golden State.
@raven: You don’t seem to appreciate the down-home charm of this blog. How long have you been reading it?
@jl: A long ass time, Dawg.
@CONGRATULATIONS!: The a plurality of major league sports fans are sex offenders in CA? Certainly a majority of male fans. I didn’t know my state would be so stupid.
Raven: OK, you win, this place sucks (CA, I mean, not the blog.)
@raven: I’m curious why Elon’s posts have posted twice two days in a row. What’s he doing differently from the other FPers?
@raven: I feel foolish that I gave her the benefit of the doubt. Oops!!
@Violet: Might be some obscure FYWP issue that suddenly rose up from the depths. Funny things happen on this blog. Maybe it’s haunted, who knows?
If she were some rich white person, you guys would be skinning her alive.
Skinning alive? No, but again, the cop shows up and nothing is wrong, no blood, no one hurt, no one upset, everyone fully clothed.
Based on an anonymous phone call, he needs to ID and question people? Instead of just saying “lewd behavior is against the law, now move along. Thank you.”
Where’s the fun in that?
Maybe. But I’d still be furious at the cop for his “I am more powerful than you” quote, and his “Do you know who handcuffed you,” quote, and for standing there mocking her while she’s in handcuffs for no other reason than it makes him feel all warm inside.
This really isn’t a difficult concept. Cops shouldn’t be dicks and douchebags even to guilty people.
Yes, he had a right to ask for ID. And she had a right to refuse to hand it over.
The fact that he can ask doesn’t mean she’s legally obliged to answer.
I didn’t listen to the audio, but if this is correct:
that’s just stupid on her part. He tells her people in the office have called it in and she accuses the unseen people of being racist? What the hell?
These two seem to be exhibiting a lack of good judgement. The whatever it was in the car with the sun roof and door open. The office workers going down and asking them to stop and them refusing. The accusations of racism to the cop and the bursting into tears and hysterics. I wonder if that’s how she normally is. Maybe she’d been partaking of a substance? Or they both had?
Unless he was going to write them a citation for lewd behavior, though, he had no need to ID them. If he just wanted to leave, he could have done that after she said no to his ID request.
If these eyewitnesses reported a crime, why in the hell didn’t the responding officer simply describe what was reported, remind them of the statute, and explain that he’d strongly prefer to let them off with a warning to get a room next time…and all they had to do to get that favorable treatment was to let him run a check for warrants?
Or maybe he did, and that’s what Mr Watts responded to.by showing his ID.
Occam’s racial prejudice.
Look, this isn’t a hard concept: whatever she may or may not have done, she was not obliged to stick around if he didn’t tell her she was being detained, and she was not obliged to give him her ID. That’s her legal right. That’s everyone’s legal right in California, whether they committed the offense or not. There’s no “unless you’re guilty” exception to the Bill of Rights.
Thanks, Rafer Janders. My point exactly. And who knows if anyone really did go down and tell them to knock it off?
Bad cop behavior is bad cop behavior, period.
The cop was definitely an asshole to her in the previous video, but getting it on in public is a crime no matter the color of your skin…
Now, if the officer had actually said “We had a report of sex in public…” maybe the whole thing would have gone differently. If it was said, I didn’t see or hear that in the video that was shown.
Asshole Cops and Asshole Racist Cops are terrible, and should be punished when they behave as such. But if Ms. Watts unfairly claimed racism to potentially cover up an actual offense that she could have been cited for, well…I’d say that does nothing but undermine the cause a little.
Previous version of story: “Sitting in car, kissing white boyfriend, racism”
TMZ Evidence: Yeah that doesn’t appear to be what she said it was before…
Um, and? This is the kind of thing that makes some people immediately say never mind, could not be any racism involved. Why not? Gay people can be prejudiced. So can women and Hispanics. I’m not even speaking about this particular incident, but just in general. Invoking the sexuality, gender, ethnicity and/or race of the officers does not automatically negate the argument.
@Rafer Janders: The only version of the video I saw showed her already in handcuffs. What happened that she ended up in handcuffs? Was that because she refused to show ID? If so, that’s wrong. Did she do something else to end up in handcuffs?
The whole story is weird.
Tissue Thin Pseudonym (JMN)
@Jeff: How would you like this to work? What evidence do you think cops should need to have before they start asking questions and asking for IDs? If the rule is that they can only investigate things that they actually see, the vast majority of crimes will never be investigated.
@Mnemosyne: Some people are exhibitionists and want to do it in public. Get a thrill out of that alone. So the hot weather might not be a deterrent.
I still think the policeman acted like an unprofessional jerk.
I’m not sure that’s true…
…but, even if it is, the Officer DOES have a right to identify the person if a crime is believed to have been committed. Now, this can be done the easy way (hand it over)…
…or the hard way (which appears to be the case in this matter).
Here’s one of the better write-ups on this matter (though the author does have a tarnish on his name):
EVERYTHING this cop relied on is based off an anonymous call that was radioed to him. He shows up and there was no smoking gun, no broken glass, no blood, no one crying or upset, everyone totally clothed.
You want cops asking for ID over that? Doesn’t matter what kind of bad people these folks may or may not be. But yeah, in the case where nothing is wrong when the cop shows up, it’s my opinion that the cop should have sternly warned them, referenced the call that was made, and asked them to move along.
Tissue Thin Pseudonym (JMN)
@Rafer Janders: No, she’s not obligated to stick around if he’s not detaining her but if the cop has probable cause to think that a crime has been committed, then he can detain her. And it sounds like that’s what happened. He asked her for her ID and when she refused, he detained her. But he didn’t just detain her over the ID refusal; there was an underlying crime.
I guess the only question I have is what are the rules if the cop just wants to write a citation. Obviously, he’s going to need to get ID to do that.
Tissue Thin Pseudonym (JMN)
@Jeff: So, your claim is that something like public lewdness can only be investigated as a crime if the cop actually witnesses it?
C Nelson Reilly
I would like to see more information about the titty bongo move – preferably in 1080p
Sounds like she learned a lesson about police power and the limits of her boyfriend’s loyalty. And both of them should have been arrested if the police officer believed they were having sex in public and that’s a crime. It takes two.
Tone In DC
I don’t give much of a shit what other people are doing, as long as their behavior doesn’t directly and adversely affect other folks and/or me.
These two wanna go at it in the car with the door open (sunroof, too)? I don’t care.
They wanna yodel like Robert Palmer, and hang from chandeliers? Still don’t care.
They wanna duck walk like Angus Young to “Jailbreak”? Still don’t care.
They wanna douse some Fox News anchor’s peroxide blonde head with road tar? Jimmy crack corn. /snark
They want to slash tires and throw beer bottles? Now, that I have a problem with.
It’d be sad/kind of funny if the call to the cops came from some broomstick-up-the-ass Ross Douthat wannabe who just has nothing else to do.
@Hal: Not agreeing with the cop necessarily, just providing more info. Here’s some more:
@Tissue Thin Pseudonym (JMN): My point is that a non-violent crime should not be investigated based solely on an anonymous phone call.
Nobody got hurt. It’s a dumb, tacky thing to do. Move along, citizen.
@Tone In DC: You’re okay with people having sex in public?
jake the antisoshul soshulist
Get a room, would be the appropriate response.
Some people are aroused by the transgressive nature of public sex. And there is exhibitionism.
However, it seems like they might have frightened the children and horses.
I completely bought the first story (cops arrested her for kissing her bf)! Feel kind of stupid now.
One of these days I’ll learn . . .
@Tone In DC: yeah, I don’t know about this. It’s all fun and games until the creepy flashers come out of the woodwork
This. These photos don’t prove jack shit.
And to flip the last several comments: “Balloon Juice commenters run their mouths off about click bait without reading the linked source? What a surprise!”
@Bobby Thomson: To be fair, we went to war in Iraq over worse quality photos than those. But look how that turned out.
Tissue Thin Pseudonym (JMN)
@Jeff: So, do you think that public lewdness should only be investigated if the cop actually witnesses it? That’s a yes/no question that you didn’t answer.
Was it anonymous? Was it just one call?
@Tissue Thin Pseudonym (JMN): Investigated? Yes. This was investigated. The cop showed up and looked at the accused and talked with them. Again, they were clothed and behaving nicely when the cop showed up.
No reason to take the investigation further.
Cop shoulda just said, “We got reports you two were out here humping in public. Don’t do that again.”
@Tissue Thin Pseudonym (JMN): Pretty much, yes, that’s my understanding of the law. IANACL, and it’s been a long time since I studied criminal law, but I don’t think the police can make an arrest for a misdemeanor offense unless they actually witness it.
@Tone In DC: Um, yeah, no, I am not okay with public fucking. I do not want to see creepers’ junk.
@Jeff: Thank you inspector Clouseau.
@Tissue Thin Pseudonym (JMN):
@raven: When all else fails for you, resort to Ad Hom attack?
I actually am sure.
@elmo: The general rule is that a warrantless midemeanor arrest cannot be made if the cop did not witness the action.
Damn. Screwed up the blockquoting.
That was truly a vicious attack, calling you “Inspector Clouseau.” Shameful.
It’s a victimless crime fergawdsakes people. Tacky and not my cup of tea, but hardly a reason for cops to abuse their power when said cop had zero evidence of any wrongdoing.
What is this, Jamestown ca. 1690?
@Jeff: Oh whatever, drone on.
@Tissue Thin Pseudonym (JMN):
Since she’s not legally obligated to give him her ID, then detaining her for refusing to hand over ID makes it an illegal detention.You can’t detain someone for exercising their rights.
And he didn’t know whether or not there was an underlying crime, that was what he was there to investigate. He had no firsthand knowledge himself.
There seems to be a common misunderstanding that if the laws says that the police have the right to ASK you for ID, that means you have to GIVE them ID. But in most cases you don’t. You can refuse. And if they retaliate for your refusal, that’s them breaking the law, not you.
@kc: Should I take it as a compliment?
Look, we disagree. This just creeps into the area of “The cops are right when they aggressively pursue crimes I find especially distasteful, citizen rights be darned!” territory. Hearesay shouldn’t be a cause for someone handing papers over to the government.
@raven: I’m not droning. I’m addressing the topic of the post.
@kc: Dude don’t know me if that freaked him out!
@Tissue Thin Pseudonym (JMN):
That’s about the only time you are required to hand over ID — if the cop is going to write you a citation, he needs your ID to establish your identity. But if he’s not writing you a citation, if you’re just talking, if he can’t establish that a crime has been committed, then you are generally not required to hand over your ID even if he demands it.
@Jeff: You’ve said the same shit 20 different ways. Good for you.
@raven: As have you.
Would you have been OK with cops investigating complaints about consensual sodomy law breaking, phoned in from a horrified person with a view of the perps’ window?
@Jeff: It’s not a victimless crime. It can make bystanders afraid for their safety when people, especially men, have their junk out in a public place. This is why street harassment is so damaging to women. Keep yr damn stuff in yr damn pants.
@Suzanne: I agree about junk being kept in pants. I disagree with cops harassing people for no visible reason, putting them in handcuffs and such.
But, but, someone made a phone call. Someone claimed to have told them to knock it off.
Exactly. The cop was a dick, but cops are dicks. What’s important to me here is that the cop had her cuffed for exercising her basic right to walk away from a cop who has not detained her. That’s (or it should be) a big deal.
@Jeff: That’s just dumb. If people are in the privacy of their own home what they do is their own business. In a car on a public street–and from the looks of these photos in this case, with the door and sun roof open–is another thing entirely. I don’t blame people for calling it in.
Nothing says ‘internet hack’ like using phrases like “ad hom”.
@Violet: Back in the day, some places had laws against sodomy. Adults engaged in consensual sodomy were breaking the law even in their own homes.
@chopper: Another personal attack!
I don’t blame people for calling it in either:
1. Calling the cops on pervs = good
2. Cops showing up and harassing people, demanding ID then handcuffing those people with zero evidence aside from a call = bad
@Jeff: Officer Parker didn’t cuff Danielle Watts, according to this article:
My emphasis. So why was she handcuffed? Did he tell them to handcuff her? Did the other cops think “retrieve” meant “detain in handcuffs”? Did she do something when interacting with the other officers than led them to do that? If so, what?
@Jeff: Yes, those laws were on the books. And what’s your point?
My point is that what people do in their own home that doesn’t hurt others (like abuse, etc.) is their own business. What people do in public becomes other people’s business. I don’t want to watch people having sex in public.
She lost me at “I have a publicist.” Just another bigtiming diva who wants to have sex in public.
I don’t know.
Still, the first cop did his job by showing up, looking around, and talking with the accused. He should have warned them and told them about the call, that it’s illegal to hump in public and that’s it.
Do you think it should have gone beyond that?
Past that, he was not doing his job. He demanded ID for no reason, then escalated the situation with taunting language. Asking for ID is when issuing a citation. There was no crime in evidence, no citation was gonna be given. This was a cop swinging his dick and getting peevish when he wasn’t being properly kissed-up to.
The Bible-thumping wing nut who called the cops on those law-breaking sodomites thinks the sodomites should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law!
Just like you and I don’t want to see people humping in public, the wing nut citizen doesn’t want consensual sodomy happening in the Holy Land of Texas.
You have a bigger say in what gets enforced than the wing nut does?
@Jeff: The incident is full of people behaving badly and exhibiting poor judgment.
@Jeff: I have no idea what you’re even talking about. I have more say than who? WTF?
When the cops were called on the gay men having sex the case went to the Supreme Court and the law was overturned. That’s how it works. Right now in California there is a law against having sex in public. People get arrested for it. If someone who got arrested wants to challenge the law, they can. If a bunch of Californians want to get together to push to overturn the law they can do that too. I’m not in California so neither of those affect me.
However, I do not wish to see people having sex in public. I like that there are laws against it where I live. I would not support overturning those laws.
@Violet: Behaving badly according to a phone call and (well after the incident) some grainy photos. Just because someone is flaky or flamboyant, or happy or sad, the cop needs to do his duty.
What if the person had a mental illness? Is it ok for the cop to needlessly ask for ID then.
Look, I agree, these people seem like knuckleheads in retrospect, and were probably guilty. I wouldn’t have called the cops unless I thought it was a rape, but I understand why someone did, and think that’s completely in the right. And the cop was right to show up, make a big presence with flashing lights and questions and conversation. But none of that means I should support a cop going beyond what he should do… demanding ID.
I’m not a libertarian or a Libertarian, BTW. I have a big respect and distrust of cops.
@Jeff: It was a pretty visible reason. It was visible because they were fucking where strangers could watch.
@Violet: In Texas in 1940 you could be prosecuted for:
1. Having sex in public
2. Having consensual sodomy in private
It’s a hypothetical question. But you can’t “like” one law and applaud it’s aggressive enforcement (Illegal even, demanding ID with no probable cause) and “dislike” an anti-sodomy law if it’s on the books and have the cops react differently to responses to them.
@Suzanne: I disapprove of fucking in public.
But by the time Officer Friendly showed up, there was zero evidence of that happening except for a phone call. I just want cops to act fairly. I don’t want to be falsely accused of something, harassed and cuffed, and I don’t want it to happen to you.
Depends what the person with the mental illness is doing. In my neighborhood I called the cops on a woman who definitely has a mental illness. She was scaring people because when she’s off her meds she wears little clothing, drags a blanket around and screams at things like trees and signs. She was threatening to kill what she thought was a person while beating on a sign on the corner with a stick when I called the cops. I wasn’t the first neighbor to do so. She’s big enough and clearly angry that she could hurt someone. She was obviously out of her mind.
She lives around the corner and a few streets away. One day when I was walking a bunch of police cars were there. I stopped to talk to them and they were taking her away. They said they come every few months when she goes off her meds. Otherwise she lives with her dad. I feel really bad for him because she’s clearly a handful and she needs help. And we all know help isn’t easily available.
On the other hand, she’s scary when she walks around the neighborhood yelling at various things and talking to herself. She’s angry, she hits things and I don’t know if she’d hurt someone. We have a lot of kids in the neighborhood. I don’t know if she’s safe for them to be around.
Should the cops have been called? I think so. Should they ask for ID? I don’t know. In this case they know who she is and where she lives because they have to come out fairly regularly for her. Maybe they don’t need ID. They probably did the first time.
I have no problem with people calling cops to report crimes, or scary behavior. You did the right thing IMO. More people should call cops, their aldermen, mayors’ office etc about illegal or potentially dangerous situations.
Edit: a friend of mine was sucker-punched by a crazy homeless person. Horrible situation to be around. Sorry for your situation.
@Jeff: THERE WAS A CRIME IN EVIDENCE. Witnesses reporting a crime is evidence. The cop didn’t just randomly show up. OI.
@Suzanne: So anyone can call and claim a crime was committed by someone, and that gives the cops a right to demand ID?
AGAIN: I’m happy the cop showed up. I’m not happy that he demanded ID and berated her to the point of her getting cuffed based on NOTHING BUT A PHONE CALL. Regardless of what grainy, inconclusive photos turned up days later. Even if his semen was dripping out of her, as along as the cop saw nothing wrong, I am against anything but a stern warning, a mention of the complaint and have a good day.
@Jeff: Yeah, and in 1900 women could be arrested for voting. Because there was a law against it.
Times change and laws change. Maybe in 1940 enough people thought sodomy even in the privacy of one’s own home was wrong. If you’re asking about today, I think it’s no one’s business and that law was wrong.
You are not making sense by talking about a law from 1940 and enforcement of said law today.
Arg. My point is not what law is on the books today. It’s about what the cops SHOULD BE ABLE TO DO about anonymous complaints from people once they show up, investigate and see zero evidence of a crime.
I disagree with anti-sodomy laws. I think women should have the right to vote. I was asking rhetorical questions.
@Jeff: Blah fuckin blah.
Fucking in public is a crime. The people who called it in thought that was happening. Maybe they were wrong but that’s what they thought. That’s why the cops showed up. If no one had called it in the cops wouldn’t have been there in the first place.
I AM HAPPY THE COPS SHOWED UP. I AM HAPPY PEOPLE CALLED THE COMPLAINT IN.
@Jeff: I am in favor of people being arrested for fucking in public. Or at the VERY least, a civil citation. One needs to see ID in order to do those things. Stern warning? FFS.
Yeah, screw evidence, screw following the law, as long as it’s a cop enforcing the law by breaking the law to crack down on something you think is distasteful based on mere hearsay, it’s all good.
“hello, police? Yes, I’d like to report three black youth outside my building pitching pennies for cash… Yes, illegal gambling… yes, please send a patrol car right away”
Officer shows up. Three 20 year old black guys talking about Dungeons and Dragons are on the street in front of the building. They have pennies in their pockets. Does the cop have a right to demand ID?
Well, congratulations, I guess. I saw Django Unchained at the theater and I also caught it on cable about three times (once all the way through, a bunch of times just parts of it). I really would not have known who Danielle Watts was if I saw her having sex, being handcuffed, or just walking down the street.
Now I will though. I’ll also probably hum “Symphony for the Devil” or “For Your Love” or some other bongo song.
Have actually responded to a few calls like this. This is every cops mindset: Possible crime reported. Investigate. Once subjects are identified, (and this is crucial from a LE perspective) make determination if arrest is warranted.
The I.D. tells the cop a few things. Perhaps he runs the name and discovers multiple previous convictions for solicitation (more common than actual prostitution) He then can make a reasonable assumption that subject did indeed commit a crime. Maybe there are warrants out for this person for parking violations, or, for double homicide. It happens. A lot. With an incident like this, only the strictest of police officer would opt for arrest. Who wants the paperwork? No one is in danger, so advise and release.
I’m not saying this is a proper mindset, but I can tell you with near certainty that is how this went down.
@Mack: She had zero reason to hand over ID. She had zero reason to be cuffed and humiliated.
If you read what I linked above, it’s not clear why she’s cuffed. Maybe you have additional information. The article indicates she left the scene, other officers cuffed her and brought her back. Do you know what she did while she was gone? Is there more information about how and why she ended up handcuffed? It seems Officer Parker wasn’t the one who handcuffed her.
@Violet: Who berated her and asked her for ID in the first place? What was the basis for demanding that ID? Was she being detained?
And I will allow the possibility that she did something oh-so-terrible when the video cuts away. Sure. The police were in the right from the beginning, evidence be damned!
@Jeff: What’s your issue? The cop acted like a dick and she didn’t have to produce her ID. So?
Unless we know what happened when she was not on the video, we don’t know what she did. Maybe there was no reason to cuff her. Maybe she did do something. We don’t know.Or at least I don’t. Maybe you do.
OK, good night. Peace to everyone. I am a bleeding heart liberal and a card-carrying member of the ACLU. I want cops to follow the law, just like I don’t want people showing their hoo-has and pee-pees in public.
I follow the law, the cops should too.
@Jeff: I don’t think you’ll find much argument with that statement here.
Thing is no one got arrested for fucking in public. No one was arrested, period.
A woman got handcuffed for mouthing off to an annoyed cop and that would have been the end of it if she and her boyfriend hadn’t taken things public. Nobody handed those pictures to the officer at the time he was talking to Watts and Lucas.
Neither of them was arrested or booked probably because the cop didn’t actually witness a crime. Initially the police didn’t even know what the whole public debate was about because the two were not arrested. Now though I wonder what will happen to Watts and Lucas from a legal standpoint.
@Jeff: Well, duh, of course they can demand ID – the guys are black. Don’t you know anything about the American legal system?
@Felanius Kootea: 5 & 10 in Woolworth
@Felanius Kootea: I know that neither of them got arrested. My point, though, was just that I have no problem with them being asked for ID, because it was not unreasonable for them to get arrested because they committed a minor crime and there were witnesses.
But he DIDN’T arrest them, or give them a citation. Absent him doing that, he wasn’t entitled to demand her ID, or have her handcuffed for refusing to show it.
That’s…very circular logic.
Here, let me try again, in simple terms you can follow.
(1) The cop is allowed to ask for ID.
(2) She is allowed to say no.
(3) Once she says no, that’s supposed to be the end of it – he can’t demand it, he can’t have her handcuffed, for refusing to do something she’s not legally obligated to do.
(4) This all changes if he gives her a citation or arrests her — at that point he can demand ID. But he didn’t arrest or cite her, because he didn’t have sufficient evidence for that. Therefore:
(5) No citation,no arrest, no ID. He can ask, but she can refuse.
What do you think of this judge’s opinion?
The fact that the cop lets her walk away, without telling her she is detained, calls other people, without her having been informed she is detained, and then tries to nail her for fleeing from being detained? That is what makes him a 100% certified DICK.
@Rafer Janders: I realize all of what you are saying. My point is that I think she should have been arrested. I am in disagreement with whomever said that the couple should get nothing more than a stern warning. I think that’s stupid, because, as I stated earlier, I am in favor of people keeping their junk in their pants. But if the witness wasn’t going to press the matter, there was no more evidence. Free to go.
@Felanius Kootea: Well, I think he’s right. I had to show up to arrest many shoplifters. Of course, it’s the store pressing charges, and, in effect, all I am doing is filling out paperwork and transporting. Would have been the same thing here. Truthfully, I’m not sure where I come out on the whole produce I.D. thing. It is often misused. It is more often the single piece of information that helps you make a decision in the field.
By the way, anytime you detain to investigate, you cuff. This is for everyones’ protection. Again, I can clearly understand why this is offensive…but in the field, you do things by the book or risk being injured or sued. people being detained for minor offenses have killed cops and innocent bystanders alike. You don’t know until you know.
OMG! “Ad homs” everywhere!
Yeah, that sounds normal to me.
@Mack: Understood. Do you think he had her cuffed because she didn’t produce ID though? He detained her to investigate but didn’t detain the boyfriend and he was clearly investigating both of them.
Do you think the two of them can be prosecuted after the fact for lewd behavior (in light of the photos)?
@Felanius Kootea: IANAL. But I would have to ask why? It would be costly and no one benefits. The fact that the male subject was not cuffed and asked to produce I.D. troubles me. Yes, street officers may be more inclined to focus on the alleged prostitute, but as many others have pointed out, solicitation is a crime, and the male subject should have received the exact same level of scrutiny. (Assuming any scrutiny was warranted at all)
Sometimes, street cops are ill equipped to deal with certain situations, the thing that drove me out of the profession was the inclination to resort to violence too quickly and too often. To use a pedestrian phrase….at the end of the day, street cops adhere to the following: Job number one is to finish your shift alive. Part of me gets that, having dealt with some pretty awful people. But I had to be truthful with myself and remember that I made the trade. My safety for yours. I always had to balance that with the notion that sometimes, my safety trumps your rights. I promise it ain’t easy.
@Suzanne : do you say they should have been arrested because they were committing a crime and thus intrinsically deserved arrest, or do you mean that Sgt Parker should have arrested them then and there on the evidence he had?
Because those are two different questions and the latter one is what’s actually relevant here.
@Mačk: I believ the boyfriend was asked for ID and gave it right away.
@Caravelle: The former. I am objecting only to the assertion that fucking in public is no biggie and merits only a warning.
The initial cop said he wanted some one else to detain her because he was afraid of how it would look if he did it as a large white male. So he asked the female cop to do it.
That of course can be spun a bunch of ways.
In my mind reading of what they were thinking?
She was trying to avoid her name getting out and he enjoyed her panic
maybe my cell phone reply broke it?
@Suzanne: ok, so you’re not responding to Jeff then? He’s consistently claimed the issue was the lack of evidence available to the officer at the time. That’s certainly what the “off with a warning” line was about. If not the “victimless crime” one and whatever Tone in DC was talking about, which I’ll grant you.
Paul in KY
@Violet: That might have been it. If you are an actor, I’ve heard that just about any publicity is good publicity (leaving aside major crimes, of course).
Paul in KY
@Tissue Thin Pseudonym (JMN): If it is a misdemeanor, I think a police officer does have to witness it for him/her to cite.
Rule in KY, I believe.
Paul in KY
@Jeff: In that case, no.
Paul in KY
@Violet: If they think you might be a potential perp & you left scene, they will bring you back cuffed (especially, if they are being dicky about it).
Paul in KY
@brantl: Agree. He should have told her he was temporarily detaining her. She was not helping matters at all (IMO).
Despite all the comments, no one barred in CA has put their two cents in. Can’t be that hard to determine 1) if a 911 call is considered probable cause; 2) if given probable cause a police officer can demand id and arrest upon refusal. Although I suspect at least 1 or 2 attorneys responded above, I did not see any statues of case law cited. It also seems like none had significant criminal law experience. Can anyone supply the info?
California, via prop 8 has essentially said the state’s exclusionary rule will not have any state grounds for exclusion, it has to meet only the federal constitutional standards.
there are supreme court cases on corroboration and anonymous tips
this little article may be of some help. http://wclcriminallawbrief.blogspot.com/2014/07/supreme-court-watch-case-update.html
the facts of the case get into a thicket where there are a ton of nuances, investigative detentions, versus arrests, versus consensual encounters.
But where the rubber meets the road. cops got a call of a couple of this rough description fucking in a Mercedes at this location, they go there and find couple matching description, and find Mercedes matching description, they can detain to investigate. If they find a misdemeanor crime in their presence they can arrest, if they find a felony, they can arrest, if they find a witness willing to do the citizen’s arrest they can arrest.
No they didn’t have a citizen’s arrest in the middle of the investigatory detention but they can detain to try and figure out what’s going on. (there’s a bunch of caselaw on questions asked to DUI defendants when the cop has stopped them and suspects DUI)
If the cops wanted to push the matter more than they did, they could’ve found a witness and persuaded him or her to sign the citizen’s arrest, and taken her to the station for the whole mug shot and fingerprinting routine. At that point she’d be searched incident to arrest and the ID would be found.
the particular cop is a supervisor, and while he was a condescending prick, you can bet he made sure to be in the clear with the impending complaint when he did what he did.
put the facts in a totally different context. someone calls 9-11 and says a white male in certain clothing has a black woman on his shoulders and she’s spray painting on a sign. Cop responds and sees a black woman with spray paint (same color paint as the call) walking with a white man in similar clothing to the call. Can he stop and question them?
(no, they don’t have to answer anything that whole 5th amendment)
in real life this plays out in front of a judge who has his or her own biases from people who may or may not testify well.
@justonce: Thank you!