Will Smith’s career and reputation were shattered in seconds by a slap. Will isn’t the only one facing criticism; the LAPD is as well. It was recently revealed that the cop on the scene did not witness the slap, which prevented him from arresting Will.
There is growing resentment toward the LAPD for not arresting Will Smith on the spot, even after Chris Rock stated that he did not want Will busted, but the truth is that cops could have taken Will out of the Dolby Theater in cuffs in only two ways. According to TMZ, LAPD sources with firsthand knowledge said that only one officer was inside the auditorium, and he was backstage and didn’t witness the slap.
Since it was misdemeanor battery, the only way a cop could arrest Will on his or her own was if it happened in their presence, which it did not. When the officer backstage heard what had happened, he made his way to Chris’ dressing room, where he waited outside for a while before asking Chris if he wanted to press charges. Chris was emphatic that he did not, and Oscar producer Will Packer claimed that Chris was asked if he wanted Will to be removed.
So Will could have been arrested in another way. Someone in the crowd, which numbered in the thousands, could have approached a cop and requested a citizen’s arrest. “A private person may arrest another for a public offense committed or attempted in his presence,” according to California law. No one in the audience asked to do it.
There were a lot of angry people who either called the LAPD or went to one of the divisions and asked for Will to be arrested for battery. The problem is that they did not witness the slap in person, and watching it on TV does not count, so the LAPD could do nothing.
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