Actress Daniele Watts Responds to Blog Post, "Calling Coco to the Hot Box!"

Below is a message from actress Daniele Watts in response to my post, "Calling Coco to the Hot Box," posted Wednesday, October 1, 2014 on To read my original post, visit

Hello Ms. Dorsey,

I woke up this morning and google alerts sent me your article. Thank you for participating in this clearly provocative discussion. I don't mind being placed in your metaphorical "hot box." There have been much more painful things I've had to deal with in my life.

Of your assertion that I have been "going around screaming about injustices suffered at the hands of Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) officers for nearly three weeks now."

I'm not sure if you're aware, but I made 1 post describing the incident on Facebook, and after it went viral, I spoke to the press that weekend... because they showed up at my church asking for an interview.

After a CNN interview the following day (Monday), I decided that would be my last interview. That was over 3 weeks ago. 

It has been Sgt. Parker who has been giving interviews, and releasing audio, defending himself against a charge that I did not even bring up. If you'll notice, I have not filed a formal complaint, the LAPD did on my behalf. 

And while I do have empathy for what the officer must be going through right now, I wonder why he would've pursued something like this unless he was willing to deal with the repercussions. He could've very easily neutralized the situation (as explained in this post on the la times: ), but instead he decided to berate me for "pulling the race card" ... and spoke condescendingly and insensitively about how "She needs to learn she doesn't dictate what happens" and how "you put yourself in handcuffs the moment you left the scene" etc etc.... Even going so far as to ask if I needed paramedics when I assert that "we are all equal." 

On the recorded audio tape, the detaining officer tells me the reason I was forced into handcuffs (my wrist cut in the process) was because the Sgt. "ordered you to stay and you left" . Sgt. Parker made no such orders when I informed him I was walking away (

Perhaps you may be interested in the recent LA Times coverage of the incident? They published an essay that I wrote describing why I felt it was necessary to behave the way I did. Perhaps it may give you some sensitivity or understanding to why I was not willing to comply with a continued pattern of treatment by law enforcement...

It is not my job to create order and uphold laws, it was Sgt. Parkers oath as an officer, and in this situation he forced himself into an experience that created disorder when no laws were broken. If he really believed the biased assumption of the 9-1-1 caller, he could've very easily asked them to come downstairs and file charges against me, as he arrived exactly 2 minutes after the 9-11 call of "explicit sex" and there was no such act taking place. 

It seems to me that the Sgt. has been trying to put me in your "hotbox" from the moment I decided to stand up for my right to not show ID.

Yes, It is my belief in America and how hard people have fought for civil liberties that leads us here. The American Civil Liberties Union -- who has been defending the constitution and American's civil liberties for over 90 years, agree.

Also, you may not be aware but the Sgt. broke police code when he released audio of the incident to the gossip site TMZ. ( If he was just trying to do his job, wouldn't he just send that to the officer conducting the investigation? The officer conducting the investigation asked us to stop speaking to the press so he could conduct a non-biased investigation, so we did. Apparently Sgt. Parker doesn't like to listen the rules of his own department: "When asked by THR what he thought would happen as a result of his voicing his frustration with the procedure, Parker says, "I'll probably be relieved of duty."" Or perhaps for him, doing his job includes doing interviews with press? Perhaps he is more interested in publicity than he originally thought?

Either way, there is a lot of room for clarification.  I am thankful to the LAPD for conducting an investigation into what happened that day. For the clarity of ALL americans who may find themselves in this position.

Sending wishes for peace and understanding,
Daniele Watts