Remember Daniele Watts, the actress who was observed being sexually intimate with her boyfriend in a parked car near the CBS Radford lot in Studio City last September, and who got racial with the LAPD officer who responded to the call? Watts and her boyfriend, chef Brian James Lucas, accepted a plea deal to resolve a charge of lewd conduct by doing 40 hours of community service and writing a letter of apology to the LAPD officer she accused of racial bias in a Facebook post and video. Audio showed the officer was polite and professional the whole way. (Watts is black, the officer is not.) Well, it turns out the judge didn't accept the tone of her apology and earlier this month said they had to try again and this time actually sound sorry. They have until tomorrow to satisfy the judge.
On Monday Watts was on Mark Thompson's podcast The Edge to talk about the whole case.
From The Edge website:
The now famous tape seems to reflect an exchange that, indeed, has nothing much to do with race.
But in this conversation, Daniele Watts explains the emotion and history that’s coming to the exchange and how the encounter with police officers was a flashpoint for her.
While not explaining away her emotion, the conversation certainly helps the listener understand what’s in her head.
By the way, here is the apology letter the judge rejected:
I want to acknowledge that when we met last September, I allowed fear, shame, and anxiety to prevent me from relating to you in a peaceful way. Hopefully you can forgive the fact that my heightened emotions disturbed what might have otherwise been a carefree stop on your way to a nice cup of coffee.
With all the recent news coverage on the issue of biased policing, we probably all have a clearer understanding of the subtle – and often bizarre – ways that racial conflict continues to haunt many people in America. Sgt. Parker, when you said sarcastically, “Thank you for bringing up the race card, I never hear that,” I felt provoked because I had previously encountered many disheartening experiences related to “being black” both in my personal life, and as reflected in society overall. Your willingness to dismiss my experience with sarcasm was hurtful, and caused me to respond defensively.
Looking on the brighter side, we do believe that the public discourse that surrounded our encounter was beneficial, as it provided an opportunity for the public to discuss, and more deeply understand the “taboo” subject of interracial relationships. As you may know, interracial marriage was only made legal in the United States in 1967, and for many, it is still a very sensitive issue. I am grateful for our meeting because it allowed me to examine the shame and self-hatred I had been bottling inside, and release it.
We truly appreciate role you’ve played in bringing awareness to so many issues.
With Love, Daniele Watts & Brian James Lucas.
The officer, Jim Parker, is now retired from the LAPD and said earlier this month he's glad the couple was ordered to re-apologize. "I’m glad they have to do a rewrite. No more excuses. She needs to say she was immature and she messed up and that she apologizes for creating the whole conflict.