A judge in Louisiana, Michelle Odinet, has asked for “forgiveness and understanding” after a video surfaced capturing a series of racist remarks as her family gathered to watch security footage of an attempted burglary at their home.
A Black man was reportedly arrested in connection with the burglary at the Lafayette City Court judge’s home in Bendel Gardens over the weekend.
After the incident, a video circulated that showed her relatives laughing and using N-words to recall the burglary as they watched security footage.
Odinet is a mother to four children. confirmed to local news site The CurrentIt was her home that the footage was shot. It’s unclear who shot it, who exactly is using the language and who sent it to several members of the local media.
This video was also posted on the website. The disturbingly explicit language is mixed in with jokes and laughter.
At one point, a voice is heard saying, “And mom’s yelling n****r, n****r,” to which a woman’s voice answered: “We have a n****r. It’s a n****r, like a roach.”
Reached by The Current for comment, Odinet said she had been unable to sleep since the incident, had taken a sedative at the time of the video and didn’t remember what was said.
“My children and I were the victim [sic]An armed burglary took place at our house. We called the police and had the assailant arrested. The incident shook me to my core and my mental state was fragile,” she said.
“I was a wreck and am still unable to sleep. At the time the video was recorded, I received a sedative. I have zero recollection of the video and the disturbing language used during it.”
She added: “Anyone who knows me and my husband, knows this is contrary to the way we live our lives. I am deeply sorry and ask for your forgiveness and understanding as my family and I deal with the emotional aftermath of this armed burglary.”
Despite Odinet’s claims, Lafayette police said no weapon was found on the man they arrested.
Local officials and members of the community condemned her footage and called for her resignation.
“I strongly believe Judge Odinet should be held accountable,” Lafayette City Marshall Reggie Thomas said in a lengthy statement published by KATC3.
“I’m sure that people of color will find it impossible to trust that they will be treated fairly and equally when they have to stand for judgment before Judge Odinet. This type of language cannot be accepted or tolerated by anyone, especially those who serve as leaders in our city,” he said.
Gerald Boudreaux, State Senator of Louisiana, said the remarks were unacceptable and that he will investigate.
“I respectfully request and will officially petition that the Judiciary Commission of Louisiana investigate the ethical conduct and actions associated with the recent developments,” he said in a statement.
Odinet is a Republican. elected to her seatNovember 2020