Judge Censured for Using N-Word and 'Manifesting Bias' From the Bench Resigns

The Supreme Court of Colorado censured an Arapahoe County judge and accepted her resignation, amid allegations that the judge made a racist remark and was "manifesting bias" from the bench.

An order filed on Friday shows judges agreeing to censure Judge Natalie Chase "based upon violations of the duties of your office as a District Court Judge for the Eighteenth Judicial District."

Among the accusations, one case stated that when Chase, who is white, was driving from a Safe Baby Program with a Black family court facilitator, she had asked the staffer why Black people can say the N-word, but white people cannot. The judge also allegedly asked "whether it was different if the N-word is said with an 'er' or an 'a' at the end of the word."

The court document also indicated that the judge said the N-word during the conversation.

The facilitator told the court that hearing Chase use the N-word felt like being "stab[bed] through my heart each time." She also said that she was afraid that the judge would retaliate against her.

Two more points in the documents indicated that Chase appeared to show racial bias when discussing the Super Bowl in her robes and on the bench. In February 2020, Chase allegedly said that she wouldn't be watching the Super Bowl, as "she objected to the NFL players who were kneeling during the National Anthem in protest of police brutality against Black people."

Another point noted that two employees tried to explain the significance of the Black Lives Matter protests that after George Floyd was killed. While Chase did say that the police involved in Floyd's death should be investigated, she also appeared to discredit the Black Lives Matter movement.

"Judge Chase stated that she believes all lives matter," the court document said.

Other points mentioned in the document included references to the judge asking a law clerk to do research on a personal legal matter unrelated to her caseload, having discourteous conversations about personal matters, inappropriately cursing when speaking about another judge, and more.

The conclusions by the court found that saying the N-word "creates the appearance of impropriety," and the judge had also violated a rule that forbids "manifesting bias or prejudice based on race or ethnicity by word or action."

The document concluded with court's decision to censure and accept her resignation 45 days from filing.

A public information officer referred Newsweek to the written opinion when asked to comment.

Judge Gavel Resign
A judges gavel rests on top of a desk in the courtroom of the newly opened Black Police Precinct and Courthouse Museum February 3, 2009 in Miami, Florida. Joe Raedle/Getty Images