A now-retired Los Angeles police sergeant who detained a “Django Unchained” actress in 2014 after responding to a report she and her boyfriend were having sex in a car sued the city Thursday to prevent public disclosure of his personnel records and those of other officers during an upcoming administrative hearing.
Former Sgt. Lewis James Parker III is alleged to have violated city ethics rules by presenting an audio recording of the incident to a celebrity website. He is joined as a plaintiff in his Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit by the Los Angeles Police Protective League.
The lawsuit additionally names as defendants the Los Angeles City Ethics Commission and Administrative Law Judge Samuel D. Reyes.
Rob Wilcox, a spokesman for the City Attorney’s Office, said his office will review the case and determine the appropriate action.
The suit asks for a court order preventing Reyes from convening a public hearing on the allegation when the case is heard Sept. 26. The suit also asks for a court declaration that the officers’ records are confidential.
“In order to fully and meaningfully defend against the charges in the accusation, it will be necessary for plaintiff to introduce his peace officer personnel records … in this matter,” the suit states. “In addition, the director of enforcement for the Ethics Commission wants to introduce a list of names of LAPD personnel, including peace officers who took part in the 2015-16 online Ethics Commission training as well as their test results.”
All of the personnel records sought to be introduced are deemed confidential under the Penal Code, according to the lawsuit.
On Sept. 11, 2014, Parker responded to a call of two people engaged in sex in a car parked on Ventura Boulevard in Studio City. He encountered actress Daniele Watts and her boyfriend, Brian James Lucas. Police said they matched the description of the couple involved.
Police said that Watts refused to give Parker any identification and walked away. Two other officers handcuffed her, but she was let go after Lucas presented them with her identification.
Lucas later claimed on Facebook that the officers appeared to believe he and Watts were engaged in prostitution because he is white and she is black.
Parker retired in June 2015 after 26 years with the LAPD.
Watts and Lucas pleaded no contest to disturbing the peace and were ordered to write apology letters to the officers and to the citizens who called the LAPD about their encounter.
–City News Service