While some were upset that officers who were in attendance didn't arrest the King Richard actor on the spot, law enforcement sources told TMZ there were two ways they could have done that, according to state law.
Only one officer was inside Dolby Theater on March 27 when Chris Rock made a joke about Jada Pinkett-Smith's hair while presenting the award for Best Documentary –– and that officer was backstage the moment it happened, the sources told TMZ. Because the incident is considered misdemeanor battery, the only way a cop could have arrested Will was if the slap had occurred in their presence, and it wasn't.
The sources said the officer who was backstage heard what happened and headed straight to Chris Rock's dressing room where the officer eventually laid out Chris' options to press charges –– something Oscars producer Will Packer and other sources have publicly stated the comedian did not want to do.
So the only other way that Will would have been taken out of Dolby Theater in handcuffs is if one of the several thousand Oscars attendees went up to a cop and requested that the actor be placed under citizens arrest. No one in the crowd did that.
Here's where things get unusual. According to the sources, there were numerous angry people who actually called Los Angeles police or went to a station to ask that Will be arrested for battery. But, according to California state law, their requests for arrest are void because they weren't there when it happened –– and watching it on TV doesn't count.
Chris Rock has been pretty quiet about the situation, though his brothers, Tony Rock, have blasted Will Smith, calling Jada the B-word during a comedy show following the incident. Will has since apologized twice and resigned from the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences.