Los Angeles Police Department patrol car. Photo by John Schreiber.
Los Angeles Police Department patrol car. Photo by John Schreiber.

A “Django Unchained” actress who made headlines when she was handcuffed and briefly detained along a Studio City street was charged Tuesday along with her boyfriend for allegedly committing a lewd act in public.

Daniele Watts, 28, and her boyfriend, local chef Brian James Lucas, were each charged with a single misdemeanor count of lewd conduct, according to the City Attorney’s Office. Arraignment was set for Nov. 13.

Los Angeles police said officers received a report about indecent exposure in the 11900 block of Ventura Boulevard around 3 p.m. Sept. 11. A witness reported that a man and a woman were behaving indecently inside a silver Mercedes with the door open, according to police.

Watts, who denied any wrongdoing, complained later that she was a victim of racial profiling by police, noting that she is black while her boyfriend is white. The actress also refused to provide police with any identification.

She and her boyfriend were eventually released.

The Los Angeles Police Department began an internal investigation into the actions of the responding officers. One of the officers released an audiotape of the conversation with Watts.

The release of that tape called into questions Watts’ allegations of racial profiling and mistreatment by the officers.

Some local civil rights activists who had spoken out in support of Watts later backed off and called on the actress to apologize to police.

The misdemeanor charge carries a potential sentence of six months in jail and up to a $1,000 fine.

City News Service

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