Holy Fuck Burger. I'm serious people. Everyone has got this story wrong. Newsweek has it wrong. Entertainment Weekly has it Wrong. Fox News got it Wrong, of course. This has nothing to do with Prostitution or thinking someone was a prostitute.
(Catching my breath)
Ok, so as you may know actress Danielle Watts who starred in the Oscar nominated movie Django Unchained was detained on Sunset Blvd the other day after police were called out on a report of her making out with her boyfriend Brian Lucas in a car parked
near the Directors Guild in Studio City.
Now you would think this is a pretty minor issue, this is a pretty minor case. We've seen Hollywood Actresses like Reese Witherspoon who have claimed as an "American Citizen" they have a right to defy the orders of police before, even though she actually was in the process of obstructing officers in the process of arresting her boyfriend for DUI. Just because she played a lawyer in "Legally Blonde" and "Legally Blonde 2" doesn't mean she knows the law they way she thinks she does. And we generally assume this is always just a case of Divas Gone Wild and thinking their above the law.
Or perhaps not, in this case. Local CBS News reported the case this way.
Daniele Watts and her boyfriend, Brian Lucas, believe they were targeted unfairly and suspect police assumed the actress was a prostitute and he, her client.
Lucas said, “He was asking me questions like: ‘Who is she?’ ‘How do you know her?’ ‘Are you together?'”
The two have been dating for the past year and a half.
The incident in the 11900 block of Ventura Boulevard happened last Thursday in Studio City.
In cellphone video captured by her boyfriend, Watts could be seen sobbing as she pleaded with police.
“I don’t have to feel ashamed for being who I am and that’s really where the tears were coming from,” Watts told CBS2/KCAL9’s Art Barron on Sunday.
Now I can understand being mistaken for a prostitute, that could be right insulting. Black woman snogging
a White guy. She couldn't possibly like the man, unless he was paying her. She couldn't possibly be anything other a street walker. Lots of assumptions.
But that's not exactly how things went down, if you listen to the full audio which I have transcribed at length for your enlightenment.
Get your popcorn and strap in kids, this is gonna take while.
TMZ provides the audio for this and just to show they are nearly as biased about this as CBS, albiet in a different direction, here are some of their comments before I actually get into the audio itself.
The "Django Unchained" actress who claimed she was harassed and hurt by cops after making out with her boyfriend was actually having sex in her car according to witnesses ... then went on a rant with cops accusing them of racism and not knowing who she was ... according to police audio obtained by TMZ.
The eyewitnesses said the guy was sitting in the seat, she was straddling him and it was for everyone to see. One eyewitness told cops they cleaned themselves up afterward with a tissue.
TMZ obtained police audio of the incident. Watts instantly plays the race card when Sgt. Jim Parker asked for her ID. She quickly moves from the race card to the fame card -- then storms off, refusing to show her ID.
Just for the record I think TMZ is the shittiest fucking scumhole of a show on the planet. I also think it's hella funny, so I watch it fairly regularly. Try figuring that one out on your Sigfried couch, I haven't made sense of it yet. These guys are bottom feeders. Vultures. Parasites. A pack of half-talent half-failure comics who think they're a news agency trying to make hay on people who've gained genuine fame by having - most of them - actual talent
. Or beauty. Or both.
You can imagine the seething hatred, can't you?
I actually met a TMZ photographer on the way back from Netroots '14, he was sitting in the seat next to me on the plane from Detroit to L.A. He also happened to be a former member of Parliament with George Clinton and actually had vocalized the "Boy Wow Yibbe Yo Yibbe Yay" section of the Clinton hit "Atomic Dog."
Just think for a second how that career path has worked out for him and you get the basic mindset of TMZ. Bitter? No, Fucking Frigid.
Anyhoo let me shut up and let the tape do the talking.
Officer: Who'se the owner of the car?
Brian: That's me.
Officer: And registration?
Brian: Nah. Unintelligible.
Officer: What about her ID?
Brian: Well I have her passport.
Daniele in background on phone: Daddy? Daddy can you hold on for one second? Hold on. Hold on. What's the issue? (To Officer)
Officer: Somebody called the police saying there was lewd acts in the car. Doesn't matter I have to ID you.
Daniele (Crosstalk): There's no lewd act happening...we're not doing anything.
Officer: Somebody called...
Daniele: I'm on the phone with my dad. This is my boyfriend, sitting in the car.
Officer: I want to see your ID. Somebody called which means it gives me the right to be here, so it gives me the right to identify you. By Law.
Someone calling gives him the right?
Is that all it takes?
Isn't that what we heard when somebody called to report a strong-arm robbery at the Ferguson Market, even though nobody working there felt the need to make that call? It's still an open question that there even was a robbery in the first place. I'm at 60/40 that there might have been. But the point is that after encountering Michael Brown and initially telling him and his friend to "Get the fuck on the Sidewalk" and leaving - it would seem that that bystanders call is what made Officer Wilson GO BACK. Then the madness did ensue, and Michael Brown ended up dead.
Someone called about Kajiema Powell shoplifting and having a knife. Even if he cared more about the bystanders than the Police at the time, he still ended up Dead.
Someone called about Darrien Hunt walking around with a sheathed, blunt, Katana. He ended up Dead.
Someone called about John Crawford holding a BB Gun in Walmart. He ended up Dead.
Someone called about Jonathan Farrell trying to "break into their house" when he was really trying to get help after a traffic accident. He ended up Dead.
Someone called police when Chris Lollie was sitting in on a bench in an apparently public area waiting to pick up his kids. He refused to provide Police ID, so they Tased and Beat him into Submission. Not dead, but not unharmed.
Someone called the Police when 18 year-old Steve Lohner was walking down the street in Aurora CO with a shotgun over his shoulder. And after refusing to give police his ID, he was went on his way with merely a citation - and his shotgun. And an attitude. But then Steve Lohner looks like this... so... yeah.. whatever.
As as result the argument "Someone called and it gives me a right"... isn't a very strong argument to me. Others may disagree.
Either way, compared to all of these people - well except Steve - Daniele had it easy. Kinda.
Just quickly on the issue of whether the law grants the police the right to demand ID, that's not entirely clear to me - lawyers on the site feel free to clarify.
The Fourth Amendment (Amendment IV) to the United States Constitution is the part of the Bill of Rights that prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures and requires any warrant to be judicially sanctioned and supported by probable cause. Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1 (1968) established that it is constitutionally permissible for police to temporarily detain a person based on reasonable suspicion that a crime has been committed, and to conduct a search for weapons based on a reasonable belief that the person is armed. The question whether it is constitutionally permissible for the police to demand that a detainee provide his or her name was considered by the U.S. Supreme Court in Hiibel v. Sixth Judicial District Court of Nevada, 542 U.S. 177 (2004), which held that the name disclosure did not violate the Fourth Amendment prohibition on unreasonable searches and seizures. The Hiibel Court also held that, because Hiibel had no reasonable belief that his name would be used to incriminate him, the name disclosure did not violate the Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination; however, the Court left open the possibility that Fifth Amendment right might apply in situations where there was a reasonable belief that giving a name could be incriminating. The Court accepted the Nevada supreme court's interpretation of the Nevada statute that a detained person could satisfy the Nevada law by simply stating his name. The Court did not rule on whether particular identification cards could be required, though it did mention one state's law requiring "credible and reliable" identification had been struck down for vagueness.
Police may question a person detained in a Terry stop, but in general, the detainee is not required to answer. However, many states have "stop and identify" laws that explicitly require a person detained under the conditions of Terry to identify himself to police, and in some cases, provide additional information.
So in short, IMO this issue remains minor technical dispute between the accepted allowances of "probable cause" under the 4th Amendment and potential conflicting issues under the 5th Amendment Right of privacy and against "self incrimination" when it comes to providing ID when requested since Hiibel
didn't address this issue and as far as I can tell Hiibel V Nevada
does not apply in California based on this post/opinion I found.
Hiibel v. Nevada does not apply in California, even though it was decided by the US Supreme Court, because California has no statute requiring you to identify yourself when detained on reasonable suspicion of criminal activity. Nevada does, and Hiibel was convicted of violating it. If California had such a law, then Hiibel would apply. California does have a law having to do with resisting, delaying or obstructing an officer performing his duties, and it's possible someone can make a case for this if you refuse to ID yourself - I haven't seen it done yet, though.
So in California, since Hiibel doesn't seem to apply, what is exactly "reasonable" to ask when no crime has been alleged?
The Officer argues that he "received a call" and that gives him probable cause to request ID, but does this violates a persons right to remain silent and refuse to incriminate themselves with providing their ID when the call itself doesn't allege an actual crime and there is no evidence of a crime taking place?
Hmmm... from what I can tell "NO!" but as a definitive legal issue I'm going to punt on that for now until I hear better advice from more informed persons. However, it is that issue, not the issue of whether Daniele is or is not a sex worker that colors the remainder of the conversation, and it gets really interesting after this point.
Daniele: Do you know how many times I've been called... the cops have been called just for being Black? I'm black and he's white I'm just being real.
Officer: That is not...
Daniele: I'm just being really honest Sir.
Officer: Who brought up a Race Card?
Daniele: I'm bringing it up because...
Officer: I said nothing about you being black. [Edit: Actually he did according to Brian in the CNN interview shown below when he first walked up - but it's not included in the audio]
Daniele: And I have every right to be here.
Officer: And I have every right to ask for you ID.
Daniele: And I have a right to say "No".
Officer: No, you do not have a right to say "No".
Daniele: Ok, well you can take me down to the court office and I can make a scene about it.
Daniele: And you know what? I have a publicist. And I work as an actress at a studio.
Officer: I'm probably interested, that you have a publicist, but I'm gonna get your ID anyway.
Daniele: No, I'm going to say "No". If you'd like my ID you can say that I'm resisting arrest...
Officer: There's no resisting, you're just interfering.
Let me jump in again for moment at this point. In all honestly Daniele IMO is responding like a person whose been repeatedly abused. Bratty? Yes. Strident? Yes. Defiant? Yes. Annoying? Hell yes. Entitled? Maybe. Diva-ish? A bit. But if as she alleges she been profiled
time after time, sometimes - even if it's not the right time - a person will take a stand and simply on the basis of principle to say "No!" Whether she's right or legally I can't definitively say, although from my quick research on it she just might be correct and Sgt Jim is wrong
but her abject refusal is based on exactly what she says in this section...
"Do you know how many times cops have been called because I'm Black?"
Also, that was a question, not an accusation. The accusation isn't even against the officer, it's against the people who made the call. This officer could have responded with "No, I don't know..." and given her a chance to explain that point, but apparently he instead chose to accuse her of throwing down he Race Card, because in this situation her being only Black person involved and feeling vulnerable was clearly just incidental in his mind. She's the racist merely for bringing it up. But wait, his insufferability gets worse. Listen to the audio if you can, because his tone is just dripping with aggrievement and condescension.
D: I'm saying that I've not done anything wrong. I'm on the phone with my father, my step-mom is dying...
O (Interrupting her as he does constantly) : Do you know that probable cause is?
D: Yes, and I have not... what is your probable cause?
O: I have probable cause.
D: I'm sitting here talking on the phone to my father.
O: We received a radio call. (Turns to Boyfriend) Can we have her ID please?
D: NO! You may not. You may not have my ID.
O: Send me a female officer please?
D: Please, please do.
O: I'm gonna get your ID one way or another. [In this post Ray Rice Era, anyone else feel a chill at these words?]
D: Fine. You can do whatever you like.
O: Yes. Yes, I am.
D: (Talking to Phone) Daddy? (Unintelligible - Voice grows fainter as she walks away)
O: Thank you for bringing up the Race Card, I Never Hear That.
[Not passive aggressive are we?]
D: (On Phone) Daddy I can't believe it. (Unintelligible) All the things that are (Unintelligible), talking to the cops right now. I can't make out with my fucking boyfriend in front of my fucking studio...
O: [Sarcastic] There ya go.
Boyfriend: We were like in our garage....
(Daniele getting more excited in the background): I don't have to give him my ID. It's my right (starts shouting) to sitting on the fucking street corner and make out with my boyfriend. It's my right.
O: Keep yelling it really helps!
D: My dad wants to talk with you.
D: Here he is on speaker phone. Daddy your own speaker phone.
Daddy on Phone : (Unintelligible)
D: He doesn't care. He doesn't care. I doesn't matter you can call the cops on somebody. You can call the cops on somebody and all of sudden your a criminal. I'm just gonna walk away (voice grows fainter)
O: Great. I'd already be gone. Just so you know. I'd already be gone.
Boyfriend: (Garble) do you need my license?
O: I already have your license. I'd already be gone.
B: Yeah. (In exasperation) Oooohhh god.
O: Yeah. I'd be gone.
See the truth of this thing is betrayed here. He doesn't have a crime. He would be gone.
He didn't witness a crime. Unless the 911 caller wants to file charges, there is no crime. He has no reason to even ask for ID except for that fact he wants to run their names for wants and warrants
. She won't give him her name, so of course, she has to be punished and humiliated
- because that's what Cops are for, aren't they?
But here's the thing that's fortunate for Daniele. She may not know it, but she's about to get "The Lecture". I've gotten "The Lecture". The Lecture is a good thing if you get it while you're still on the street, relatively free. It means the cop thinks he teaching a grand "lesson". You should learn it. You should appreciate it. You should thank Jehova/Vishna for your new enlightenment. Be glad you're getting the lecture, because the times that they don't give you the lecture - you're going to jail.
Then either on the way to jail, or after you get there, you still get The Lecture. There is no escaping the Lecture. Just grin and bear it. It doesn't last forever. It only seems like it.
Daniele was not having it. Not. at. all.
D: I don't understand how we live in a free country where in at a parking lot and I'm making out with my boyfriend and I get arrested...
O: [To other officers] Gotta be careful. Little emotional.
D: How do we live in a free country? (Unintelligible) .. for nothing.
O: What's your first name?
O: Why do you think you're in handcuffs.
O: Do you think we put you in handcuffs? Did we put you in handcuffs or did you do it?
O: (Incredulous) Did I put myself in handcuffs? (Yes, it is as crazy a question as it sounds)
O: Who do you think put yourself in handcuffs? (This is a direct quote, I swear to God!) Who do you think put you in handcuffs?
D: I think this Officer right here put me in handcuffs.
O: No! I think you did the minute you left the scene.
D: Yes, because i was....
O: Do you see?
D: ...treated like a criminal...
O: Do you see the gentleman here in handcuffs? Is the gentleman here in handcuffs before you? No, he's not.
D: (Sigh) Do you think that I'm stupid?
O: I don't think you're stupid at all. [Yes, apparently you do!]
D: What's your first name Officer Parker?
O: My name is Sargent Parker and that's all you need to know.
D: Why don't...why do you need to know my first name but I don't know yours?
O (Overtalking her, again!) Because I need to identify you as the source of radio call.
D: I think I'd like to identify you to my publicist, what's your first name?
O: Now you see why your in handcuffs?
D: Why are you afraid of the news getting out that you're arresting somebody - who was making out with her boyfriend?
O: I've been on the news many times.
And for once in his long train of bullshit so far, he's actually right. Sgt Jim Parker of LAPD was quoted in a story involving a hoax kidnapping story about Miley Cyrus.
"We responded to a call of a kidnap in progress with one person shot," said LAPD Sgt. Jim Parker "We believe it's a prank call at this time."
He was the officer who spoke to reporters
about the suicide death of Sylvester Stallone's son Sage Moonblood Stallone in 2012.
He also was the media point man speaking to reporters about the a Gang Shooting in North Hollywood.
Even so, his conversation with Daniele Watts which is only a few days old, is already eclipsing all of those stories on Google. And on Twitter.
Here's the thing, he hasn't been on the news - he's talked to reporters about other people who are in the news. He hasn't been on a Red Carpet with reporters who want to talk to him, they just had to because LAPD sent him instead of someone else to read their press releases a couple times. NOW he's on the news.
Other Officer: (Unintelligible)
Danielle: Because you told me to turn around and face the wall, and I didn't. Did he tell me to stay or did I tell him I was walking away while talking to my dad?
Officer Parker: (Unintelligible)
D: Did you hear him tell me to stay here?
Parker: You can't walk away ma'am.
Boyfriend: He didn't say anything as you walked away...
D: You didn't say anything to me as I was walking away. [He was too busy complaining he "could have been gone" - saying it five times - to her boyfriend]
Actually, I do believe you can walk away if the officers don't give you an order to stay, and he didn't give any such order, although I wouldn't recommend it as a strategy.
A person is detained when circumstances are such that a reasonable person would believe he is not free to leave.
Police may briefly detain a person if they have reasonable suspicion that the person has committed, is committing, or is about to commit a crime.
If he had required her to stay - which he didn't - he would have had to have "reasonable suspicion" that she committed, or was going to commit a crime. But we already know "I would have been gone..." so um.. what the frack?
What she really did, was piss him off. That's all.
Also, she wasn't really hearing that lecture of his very well. Still in Handcuffs.
D: There is no reason, because I literally walked away from him - I was on the phone with my dad.
O: (To other officers who I assume now have her ID via her boyfriend): They both have no...
Other Officer: No Probation.
O: Not wanted for Murder? Nothing, right?
O: Do you see what time it is? 15 minutes ago, I would have been gone. [One more time quoting the opening line of "Oh Sherrie" and this guy is gonna owe Steve Perry some royalty money!]
D: What because I wouldn't give you my ID? That was enough for me...
O: It is enough ma'am. It is enough. [Or rather it's Not without a Hiibel in this jurisdiction]
D: That's fine. This is not a problem for me.
D: I'm gonna get all of your names.
O: It's obviously a problem for you.
D: What is a problem for me, is that you think you're better than me. And you think you have more power than me.
O: Oh. (Calmly, matter of factly) I do have more power than you.
D: ... and that's not true.
D: So I'm gonna show you. You'll see. Because we're all equal, and (getting excited) that's what our country is based on. The land of the free and the home of the brave. We are all equal.
O: Do you need paramedics? You want me to call paramedics for you?
D: (Sarcastically) Sure. I'd love a tranquilizer. (Unintellible)..in cuffs, yeah. It's really exciting to see where my mind went.
O : (Still talking while she's talking): I could call paramedics for you?
D: Just the fact that you just told me you have more power than me makes me want you wanna be (unintelligible) somewhere...
O: (Whining) But I do have more power than you here.
D: This situation, just because you have me in handcuffs does not mean you have more power than me
O: Oh, I do. When I tell you to do something you have to do it, that's the law ma'am. [Kinda not!]
D: Clearly I didn't have to do, because I still didn't.
O: Do you want to be out of handcuffs?
D: I don't know. I could sit here and talk to you all day, I'm just enjoying myself. [That's gotta burn since "I coulda been gone..." six times now!] And if you have more charges for me, go ahead bring 'em up.
O: We actually have no charges now. [No, kidding - so why is she in handcuffs still?]
D: So why am I still in handcuffs? [Yeah, why?]
O: Because you're legally detained.
D: So why am I legally detained? [Here we go 'round the mulberry bush.. the mulberry bush.. the.. oh you get it.]
O: I asked if you wanted me to take the handcuffs off? [What is this a fucking game to him? Why do you need her permission for that?] Do you want me to take the handcuffs off?
D: I don't know I want to make another Youtube video.
O: (Chuckles) You took something that would take five minutes and made it thirty. [I can see him pouting inside, that Coffee & Donut he was on his way to get so had his name on it!]
D: That's great. I'm glad, because you guys are really showing me something about my country right now...
D: And I'm really enjoying this conversation. [Guess whose got the power now? He wants to go, she's making him stay!]
O: Ok. As soon as we're done here we'll show you a little more.
D: Great. Great. Can I have my phone please? Am I still required...
O: You're still being detained.
D: Alright, we'll let's just make sure.
D: Shall we take some selfies while were here? Y'know tweet about it, got arrested today.
O: You didn't get arrested.
D: Oh, I got detained today. The cops thought that I was a threat. Oh, that's good yeah.
O: No, actually the cops never called, we didn't call, somebody else did. We're here for a reason. [Yeah, it used to be called Miscegenation, but we're much more civilized folk now!]
D: To protect and serve the people in the office up there, who were personally offended I'm making out with my boyfriend down here...
O: Wanna hear something even funnier?
D: I'll bet there's at least one person up there whose a racist. [Or at least a fucking busybody prude!] I'll bet you, you're a little bit racist.
O: Wanna hear something even funnier? We were about to have coffee. [What did I tell you!]
D: Yeah, god. It could've been a nice hot cup, but instead you gotta deal with me.
O: It would've been five minutes. [God, what a whiner!]
D: I know, and I'm still enjoying it. Cuz instead of fucking around in a coffee shop you get to fuck around with me. Public Service. You guys work for us don't you?
O: I don't work for you.
D: Isn't that what you're oath is, "To Protect and Serve"?
O: I work for anyone who calls for police service
But apparently not anyone who actually needs it.
And eventually it ends.
O: This just took longer than I assumed.
D: I mean hey, this is your job.
O: Are you guys done with your DFI's?
D: If you guys have to deal with crazy batshit fuckers like me every day...
O: You are?
D: That's what you signed up for, I signed up for freedom. I thought America was the land of the free and home of the brave, y'know. I'm pretty fucking brave, but I don't go around putting people in handcuffs, so y'know... I guess we all have our destinies. I serve freedom and love, you guys serve - uh - detainment. That's cool. That's fine.
O: I might have one (garbled) I'll see you guys. Go ahead and take the cuffs off.
D: I hope when you're fucking your spouses that you really feel like, alive y'know? That you feel thankful, full of gratitude for the freedom that you have. That you share with people of this country every day. I'm saying all this with love, y'know, really.
Female Officer: Do you want the handcuffs off right now?
D: Well, y'know I could sit here and shoot the shit with you guys all day, cuz I haven't done anything wrong.
Female Officer: Stand up, turn around if you want the cuffs off.
D: Well this has been fun guys, really.
O: That's it.
D: Really it has been.
O: It hasn't been fun for me. [Awwww... it's gonna get worse man]
D: I know, and that's why at the end of the day I really have a lot of compassion for you guys.
O: [Talking over her, Again!] It's not been fun for me.
D: Cuz you get to go around making people feel like they're powerless. And you walk around with this full sense of power that's not real, because at the end of the day... if you don't work for me, if you say that you don't work for me, that you're not here to serve the people of this country...
O: I .. uh...I
D: ...then you're not living up to what you're here for.
O: At any time, has anybody said anything disrespectful to you? [Oh, geez there were about 5 or 6 smartass rude degrading comments ("Little Emotional Here", "Do you need a paramedic?", "Keep yelling it really helps", "I do have more power!") by my count! But if he means swearing, Nope.]
D: You guys signed up for it, they've all said disrespectful things to me...
O: (As if talking to a child) What did they say?
O: What did they say that was disrespectful?
D: Y'know If I felt like you were coming from a place of love [and not snide condescension]
O: I'm not.
O: Did they say anything disrespectful to you at all? [Man, he's like a dog with a bone... "I coulda been gone... did they say anything..." just can't let GO!]
O: Tell me one thing that they said disrespectful?
Other Officers getting impatient: Sargent we really are leaving!
O: Yeah, I'm the Boss of everybody.
D: Y'know what's interesting about all this? I don't even know what...
O: Hey, I thank you. Heh heh...
Boy I am sure glad LAPD has learned manners in the last few years after the Justice Department whipped their asses with a consent decree
following the Rampart Scandal. Sargent Jim Parker's impeccable manners, professionalism and good nature must be the Pride of the Force.
8:16 AM PT: Just a few thoughts. I think, until I see and read otherwise, that the Fifth Amendment Right to Remain Silent, is a Right to Remain Silent unless there is a state law carving a loophole into that Right. Hiibel carved that hole for Police asking for ID when they have probable cause if there's a state law to that effect. From what I know now, California doesn't have one which means you can functionally invoke the 5th and not answer any question, including what your name is. Officers can still perform a search and find your ID if you have any on you, but then they have to have probable cause for the search and it has to be based on "reasonableness" or else they need a warrant. If someone has more to say about it, I'm all ears.
8:26 AM PT: Shanikka in the comments has a read out of the standing of Hiibel in California. It doesn't apply. CA Appellate courts are apparently split on the issue right now, so it's truly not the hard and fast rule to comply that Sgt Parker claims it is.
2:14 PM PT: JoanMar Offered This Saucy Comment.
Daniele was under no obligation
to adjust her back so that her oppressor could ride comfortably. She refused to be treated like a third class citizen and I am proud of her.
The cop WAS NOT patient; rather he was an asshole as he spoke down to her, and mocked her, and ASSAULTED her.
People are reacting as if this happened in a vacuum. As if Danielle, a well informed citizen, is unaware of what has been happening to people who look like her. She made a stand.
And for the record, CNN's Michaela Pereira conducted one of the worst, most disgusting interviews I have ever seen. She badgered Danielle and seemed intent on blaming the victim. Why didn't you just cooperate? The ACLU advises that you obey the police officers, why could you have...? Do you see how you could have de-escalated the situation? And on and on.
Those are the questions that should have been asked of the abusive cop; not of the victim.
2:18 PM PT: SphericalXS Supplied This.
He had no intention of charging them with any crime from the very beginning, which means he had no legitimate reason to detain them or ask them for ID.
The only reason he wanted their ID was so he could run a warrants check on them. That is not a legitimate reason for police to require a person to produce ID. She was perfectly within her rights to deny his request.
When she denied his request, he detained her. This is also not legitimate. This whole episode was strictly a power play designed to train civilians to kowtow to the cops.
The United States Supreme Court has ruled that no person is required to produce ID simply because a police officer requests it (Kolender v. Lawson). Since, in this case, there was no intent based on reasonable belief to charge either of them with a violation of law, she was not required to show ID.
It would have been totally legitimate for the officer to attempt to lecture them on acceptable public behavior, but he could not legally detain them in order to do so.
3:57 PM PT: ColorSuffering says...
I would like to make a couple of points:
1. The officer is not allowed to demand her identification. Pedestrians are not required to carry identification. She only needed to provide her name.
2. The officer says: "I have probable cause." He did not have probable cause. Presumably he meant "reasonable suspicion." This makes his question "Do you know what probable cause is?" fairly ironic.
3. Lewd conduct is a misdemeanor (CPC 647). In order to arrest someone for a misdemeanor, the officer needs to have witnessed the infraction (CPC 836). The single phone call does not meet the requirement for reasonable suspicion. There are exceptions to this rule (domestic violence, child abuse), but lewd conduct is not one of those exceptions.
4. The officer was very unprofessional, and he was constantly antagonizing Ms. Watts throughout the incident. Yes, Ms. Watts was agitated, but her actions can be excused. The police must be held to a higher standard than the average citizen.
5. Her comments about the power dynamic between police and citizens is spot-on.
4:30 PM PT: CNN Interview with Brian and Daniele
In this it is explained that the portion that made Brian, not Daniele, feel that the situation was racial was some of the Sgt's initial questions "We had a report a black female and white" - "Who is she to you?" - "Are you two together?" - which are not included in the recording provided by TMZ and apparently took place previous to her objecting to the Sgt asking Brian to provide her ID.
The CNN interviewer claims that their analysts say that if the officer has a "reasonable suspicion" he can detain you until you're ID is determined. Some of the various attorney's in the comments [quoted above] dispute that you have to provide it to them which is a different argument. The CNN guys don't say you have to provide it to them, they say they can detain you for a "reasonable period" until they get it through some kind of means.
In this case Brian eventually relented and provided it to them, and once they ran her name for warrants she was released. All the little snide comments and the "Lecture" was merely a bonus. CNN also claims that the ACLU says you should provide ID, but that is only for traffic stops if you happen to be the driver, that doesn't apply to passengers or pedestrians. What the ACLU in California actually says is this.
DO give your name and the information on your drivers’ license. If you don’t, you may be arrested, even though the arrest may be illegal.
DO remember you have the right to remain silent. You cannot be arrested or detained for refusing to answer questions. But it can look suspicious to the police.
DO show an ID if you are getting a ticket so that you can be released.
They advise you to do it simply as a matter of convenience and to avoid an illegal
arrest, they don't say that it's legal for Police to demand it
, unless you're driving at the time.
5:00 PM PT: Here's some more relevant information on Kolender regarding California Jurisdiction.
Edward Lawson was a law-abiding black man of unusual deportment (he wore his hair in long dreadlocks). Lawson was frequently subjected to police questioning and harassment in San Diego County, California, where he lived when as a pedestrian he walked in so-called "white neighborhoods." He was detained or arrested approximately 15 times by the San Diego Police within 18 months, was prosecuted twice, and was convicted once (the second charge was dismissed).
Lawson challenged California Penal Code §647(e), which required persons who loiter or wander on the streets to identify themselves and
account for their presence when requested by a peace officer to do so.
Using the construction of the California appellate court in Solomon, the Court held that the law was unconstitutionally vague because it gave excessive discretion to the police (in the absence of probable cause to arrest) whether to stop and interrogate a suspect or leave him alone. The Court hinted that the California statute compromised the constitutional right to freedom of movement.[Note 1] [Note 2]
The Court affirmed the decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in Lawson v. Kolender, 658 F.2d 1362 (1981). The Ninth Circuit had additionally held that Penal Code §647(e) violated the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition of unreasonable searches and seizures because it “subverts the probable cause requirement” by authorizing arrest for conduct that is no more than suspicious. “Vagrancy statutes cannot turn otherwise innocent conduct into a crime.” Id. at 1367.
The Ninth Circuit also noted that “police knowledge of the identity of an individual they have deemed ‘suspicious’ grants the police unfettered discretion to initiate or continue the investigation of the person long after the detention has ended. Information concerning the stop, the arrest and the individual’s identity may become part of a large scale data bank.” Id. at 1368.
Lastly Penal Code §647(e) was repealed in 2008. Jim is wrong. Daniele is right. He can ask for ID, but she can also say "No" - as a result he can "detain" for a while, but not indefinitely.
10:55 PM PT: It's getting late and I doubt people will review the diary to read this but I have one final update based on some of the comments.
The reason I felt this was "worse" than simply the insult of profiling Daniele as a prostitute, is the fact this is a display of bullying someone into giving up their 5th Amendment Constitutional rights. Sgt. Parker repeatedly claims he has "probable cause", but he really doesn't because he would have needed to have witnessed himself, of have a witness willing to file a complaint for, any potential misdemeanors or physical evidence of a misdemeanor to justify the reasonable suspicion for a search. If he could search them, he wouldn't' need to ask for her ID, he could just do the search and get it that way.
He never even tries to do that, because if he gets the ID using an illegal search, without a reasonable suspicion of anything, using that ID to learn anything else makes that information "fruit of a poison tree" and could be thrown out in court. [I highly doubt most judges would do this, but the potential is there]
He's got nothing, so he's Fishing and trying to use intimidation, ridicule and humiliation to get her to "voluntarily" give him what he can't get otherwise using the law. It's not illegal, but it's fucking despicable.
This isn't an aberration for LAPD. This is Standard. Operating. Procedure. It's quite often you can be driving down the street and see LAPD Officers with 4 or 5 minority individuals all lined up on the sidewalk, being detained, waiting to see if they've got any outstanding warrants after being "asked" to provide ID. The thing is most people usually give in. They just roll over and the cops take advantage of their fear. It happens every day, every single day. What's unique here is that Daniele asserted her rights and she held her ground on it. Brian caved, but that's on him. [When I starting writing this I didn't even realize California law supports her, not him - but apparently it does]
You have to put this in context with the recent reports out of cities like Ferguson that a high percentage of minority persons get targeted for traffic stops about 20% more often, get ticketed at stops about 58% more often, get arrested at stops about twice as often and are on the receiving end of use of force three times more often. Even when it doesn't escalate to an arrest or use of force, those tickets add up.
At this point it becomes a financial issue, if you don't have enough money to pay all those tickets on time, or don't show up on time for a court date, you get a $20,000 bench warrant. Driving without a seat belt, or with a bald tires can if you don't have the money to cover the tickets can put in a position that is as bad - from the eyes of the police - as being an armed robber or rapist. This is just what Sgt Parker was fishing for.
He had no current crime, he was going after "old" stuff that tends to affect poorer people, just as we've seen in cities like Ferguson where a significant portion of their municipal budget comes from traffic fines. Fortunately for Daniele she's either a good driver, has someone else do her driving or has had enough disposable cash to handle these things.
I myself, racked up a pile of tickets in the 90's that led to a bench warrant. Then that leads to a suspended drivers license. Then if you keep driving, which I did since I was commuting to work from Tarzana to Pico Rivera (47 miles each way), I got hit with driving with a suspended license. I then began paying that ticket off - which was $1000 - in increments and after paying $700 of it, things went to hell. My check bounced. That put me back to bench warrant status, and now they wouldn't even take cash - I had to see a judge. I knew that judge, and had been in his court watching him handle other cases. He was a fucker. By then we'd moved to Glendale which cut the commute in half, so I took the bus and stopped driving.
I didn't drive for 12 years, and as a result my cop problems vanished.
After 12 years I got hit with a jaywalking ticket, even though I was in the crosswalk and anyone in the cross walk has right of way, but rather than simply saying "screw it" as I had before I went to court because in all that time I didn't even know what I owed anymore. (Also I'd filed for bankruptcy in 2000 and the outstanding balance of my ticket was included in that filling). I figured Federal Court trumped State Court so I didn't have anything to worry about, but I was wrong. Different Judge, still a fucker. He didn't care about the bankruptcy, he said $300 now or 60 days in jail.
Ultimately I spent 3 days in Twin Towers Lockup and two weeks of work release. For balding tires. And an unhooked seat belt. And one illegal left turn in Pasadena back in 1997. This is what Sgt Parker was looking for and he wasn't giving up until he got it. This is why he lied and tried to humiliate her into giving in. To feed the system.
Tue Sep 16, 2014 at 4:24 PM PT: Just as an trivial aside.. this is my precisely 400th Recommended Diary.