The producer of the Academy Awards, Will Packer, revealed the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) was prepared to lay battery charges against Will Smith for slapping Chris Rock during Sunday’s live show.
Packer confirmed that officers from the LAPD attended Rock’s dressing room, and were ready to lay battery charges against Smith.
“They were saying, you know, this is battery, was a word they used in that moment. They said, ‘We will go get him. We are prepared. We’re prepared to get him right now. You can press charges, we can arrest him,’” he said, according to an interview with Good Morning America released on Thursday.
ABC NEWS EXCLUSIVE | TOMORROW ON GMA: #Oscars producer Will Packer speaks out on what happened behind the scenes, moments after actor Will Smith slapped comedian Chris Rock on stage. pic.twitter.com/LnFnNImFJ1
— Good Morning America (@GMA) March 31, 2022
On the same night that Smith slapped Rock, police attended the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. Packer shared the behind the scenes details and detailed the demeanor of the officers, including the language they used when speaking with Rock, according to the interview.
“They were laying out the options. And as they were talking, Chris was — he was being very dismissive of those options. He was like, ‘No, no, no, I’m fine.’ And even to the point where I said, ‘Rock, let them finish,” Packer told the outlet. The interview revealed the officers asked Rock one final time if he wanted them to take any further action, but he declined. (RELATED: It Appears The LAPD Just Paid Will Smith A Little Visit)
LAPD were “prepared” to arrest Will Smith, but Chris Rock was “dismissive” about pressing charges after slap, Oscars producer Will Packer says. https://t.co/ovlRnMHVae
— ABC News (@ABC) April 1, 2022
The LAPD statement said, “LAPD investigative entities are aware of an incident between two individuals during the Academy Awards program. The incident involved one individual slapping another,” according to Variety.
“The individual involved has declined to file a police report. If the involved party desires a police report at a later date, LAPD will be available to complete an investigative report,” the statement continued.
Rock has since declined to speak publicly about his feelings surrounding this incident, saying he’s still processing the situation.