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"Django Unchained" actress says police held her over public affection

LOS ANGELES - An actress who appeared in "Django Unchained" was handcuffed by police responding to a report of indecent exposure.

But Daniele Watts said she was approached by police after a public display of affection, CBS Los Angeles reported. In cellphone video captured by her companion, Brian Lucas, she could be seen pleading with police.

The Los Angeles Police Department said Sunday that officers detained Watts, who played "Coco" in the film, and her companion last week after a complaint that two people were "involved in indecent exposure" in a silver Mercedes. When police asked Watts for her identification she refused, and was detained until police determined no crime was committed.

"The citizen who called the police to complain told the 9-1-1 operator that a male and a female were involved in indecent exposure inside a Silver Mercedes with the vehicle door open," the statement alleged.

On a Facebook page that appears to be associated with the actress, Watts says she was guilty only of showing affection in public. Lucas wrote on the social media site that because she is black and he is white, onlookers assumed them to be a prostitute and client.

"As I was sitting in the back of the police car, I remembered the countless times my father came home frustrated or humiliated by the cops when he had done nothing wrong," Watts wrote the Facebook page. "I felt his shame, his anger, and my own feelings of frustration for existing in a world where I have allowed myself to believe that 'authority figures' could control my ability to BE!"

Watts was handcuffed and placed in the back of a patrol car. When police identified the woman, they let her go Lucas said.

California does not have a law requiring people to show police their identification when walking down the street, legal analyst Steve Meister told CBS Los Angeles. But if police have reasonable suspicion, they can detain an individual for a reasonable amount of time to check the person's identity.

Police say an internal investigation has been launched. Representatives for Watts did not return calls and emails seeking comment.

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