Louisiana Judge Michelle Odinet Resigns Over N-Word Filled Family Video
Louisiana Judge Michelle Odinet has finally resigned from her seat on the Lafayette City Court following a nearly month-long scandal related to a racist home video.
On Friday, Odinet released a statement to Louisiana Supreme Court Chief Justice John Weimer where she owned up to her involvement in the home security video where she and others in her home could be heard using racist slurs, NBC News reports.
Her resignation came weeks after a shocking video showed her family reacting to an attempted car burglary outside their home. In the video, a male voice is heard saying, “Mom’s yelling n***er, n***er.” A female voice is then heard laughing and saying, “It’s a n***er, like a roach.”
“I take full responsibility for the hurtful words I used to describe the individual who burglarized the vehicles at my home,” Odinet wrote in the New Year’s Eve letter.
“I am sorry for the pain that I have caused my community and ask for your forgiveness, as my words did not foster the public’s confidence and integrity for the judiciary.”
Odinet says her resignation was to “facilitate healing within the community.”
“After much reflection and prayer, and in order to facilitate healing within the community, I hereby resign as judge of the Lafayette City Court effective immediately,” she wrote.
Her departure comes one week after New Orleans District Attorney Jason Williams ordered his civil rights division to review all cases prosecuted by Odinet, CNN reports. The first Black female judge was appointed in Odinet’s place.
“That a judge and former prosecutor so comfortably employed a racial epithet serves as a telling reminder that the attitudes which fostered mass incarceration continue to undermine our pursuit of equal justice,” Williams said.
“Moreover, the casual dehumanization displayed by Judge Odinet raises serious questions about her impartiality and the presence of bias and discrimination in her work.”