Louisiana judge resigns after outcry over racist language

December 31, 2021 GMT

LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) — A Louisiana judge who repeatedly used a racial slur in a video recorded at her home and posted to social media resigned in a letter her attorney sent to the Louisiana Supreme Court on Friday.

In the letter, Michelle Odinet resigned as judge of the Lafayette City Court effective immediately.

“I take full responsibility for the hurtful words used to describe the individual who burglarized the vehicles at my home. 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 said.

Odinet had been on unpaid leave of absence after the video surfaced.

The video, which caused a community outcry, shows a television set at Odinet’s home displaying security footage of what appears to be a foiled burglary Dec. 11. Laughter and racist slurs are heard from the viewers — who aren’t visible on camera — as they watch two people capture the suspect, a 59-year-old Black man.


Odinet’s lawyer, Dane Ciolinio, confirmed the judge used a racial slur. Ciolino has said the judge feels “humiliated, embarrassed, and sorry” for the harm she caused the community and would reflect on her future in the weeks to come.

Gov. John Bel Edwards called for her resignation, saying he hoped her “period of reflection that she’s going through will lead her to that same conclusion.”