Louisiana Judge Recorded Using Racial Slurs is Being Called to Resign

Lafayette City Court Judge Michelle Odinet Claims to Have Been on Sedatives at the Time the Recording Was Made at Her Home

A Louisiana judge repeatedly laughing while slurring a Black man in a video recorded at her home now faces calls for her resignation.

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Lafayette City Court Judge Michelle Odinet watched security footage of what appears to be a failed burglary at her home early Saturday morning. Liberal use of the most common slur against Black people is heard from viewers who aren’t visible on camera.

KLFY in Lafayette spoke with the judge who had an excuse for her behavior explaining that, "My children and I were the victim of an armed burglary at our home. The police were called and the assailant was arrested. The incident shook me to my core and my mental state was fragile."

The station reports that 59-year old Ronald Handy, who is Black, was arrested and charged with two counts of simple burglary. Police confirmed that the man had no weapon when he was arrested at the judge’s home, despite her claims of an “armed burglary.”

Odinet confirmed that the video was made at her home, but she claims to have taken a sedative at the time the video was made and she doesn't remember it.

"That's me," one viewer says while watching the security footage of the man being caught. "And Mom's yelling 'n---, n---.'" Another viewer says, "We have a n-----. It's a n-----, like a roach."

"I was given a sedative at the time of the video. I have zero recollection of the video and the disturbing language used during it. Anyone who knows me and my husband, knows this is contrary to the way we live our lives," Odinet's statement said.

"We ask for your understanding, forgiveness, patience and prayers," she added.

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The president of the Lafayette Chapter of the NAACP, the Louisiana Legislative Black Caucus, and the Lafayette City Marshal and others have all called for Odinet's resignation.

KLFY reports that since this video surfaced, the defense team for a suspect accused of operating a vehicle while intoxicated has filed a motion  requesting that Michelle Odinet recuse herself from the case.

De’edrick Lawrence, who is Black, pled no contest in September and was placed on unsupervised probation for two years.

The motion explains that as Odinet is the sentencing judge, there is concern about adverse impact due to Lawrence’s race.

“While a judgment of conviction has already been rendered pursuant to plea, this case presents a particular circumstance where a biased and prejudiced judge will hold his future in her hands for the next two years,” the motion states.

The Louisiana Legislative Black Caucus says they don’t think Odinet is capable of being impartial where Black litigants are concerned.

"In the event she doesn't resign, we request that the Louisiana Judiciary Commission Immediately appoint an ad hoc judge to hear cases in her division, investigate this incident and ultimately remove her," the group said in a news release.

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