What did Michelle Odinet say? Lafayette judge suspended as racist home video recording surfaces 

Michelle Odinet forced to take leave after racist remarks resurface (Image via YouTube)
Michelle Odinet forced to take leave after racist remarks resurface (Image via YouTube)

Lafayette City Court Judge Michelle Odinet has been forced to take a leave of absence after making racist remarks. This took place while the judge watched a footage of a black man, allegedly a burglar, being pinned to the ground by two police officers.

On Wednesday, the Louisiana-based judge announced through her attorney that she will be taking an unpaid leave. Odinet's attorney, Dane Ciolino, claimed that she will be thinking about "what is next" while on leave. He stated that she is:

"Embarrassed and humiliated and sorry for what she has done and the harm she has caused to the community."

The Louisiana Supreme Court will be appointing an interim judge to take over Michelle Odinet's court cases.


Michelle Odinet's dismissal explained

Footage of her making racist remarks was captured in her home. Odinet has stated that she is not aware of who recorded and leaked the video.

In the leaked video, a man's voice can be heard, where he says-:

"And mom's yelling 'n****r, n****r.'"

The judge laughs and responds to the video by saying:

"We have a n****r. It's a n****r. Like a roach."

The dismissed judge claims that she had taken a sedative while the video was being recorded and hence does not remember what she said.

Michelle Odinet was pushed to take leave after she received multiple calls from her colleagues, including the Lafayette City Marshall, the Louisiana Legislative Black Caucus, and an unidentified civil rights attorney.

Gerald Boudreaux, State Senator, has announced that he will be pursuing an investigation into the racist comments.

Anti-Defamation League Southern Division Policy Director Aaron Ahlquist commented on the judge's dismissal. He said:

"Judges are supposed to be fair and impartial arbiters of justice for all. The racist comments made by Judge Odinet are indicative of a troubling bias against black people, which is disqualifying for an objective legal official who decides the fates of peoples' lives.

Odinet has reportedly not taken a decision to return to the bench. Ciolino stated that she will be making "longer-term decisions in the weeks to come."

Edited by Rhythm Bhatia
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