Louisiana Judge Pressed to Resign After Racist Language Heard in Video Filmed at Home

A Louisiana judge is facing calls for her resignation after a video posted online showed a video containing racist language that she confirmed took place in her home.

Michelle Odinet is a Lafayette City Court Judge, and told local news outlets that a video showing a television screen playing security footage of an attempted burglary while racist comments and jokes are made in the background was recorded in her home, although it is still unclear who is speaking in the video and who originally posted it online.

Odinet said the video was made after the attempted burglary, which she was "traumatized" by, so was given a sedative to relax. She went on to say she does not remember the events of the video or what happened when the racist comments were being made because of the sedative.

"I was given a sedative at the time of the video. I have zero recollection of the video and the disturbing language used during it. Anyone who knows me and my husband, knows this is contrary to the way we live our lives," Odinet's statement said.

The video shows two people capturing the attempted burglar and police said a 59-year-old Black man was arrested after the burglary.

"That's me," one viewer says while watching the security footage of the man being caught. "And Mom's yelling 'n——-, n——-.'" Another viewer says, "We have a n-----. It's a n-----, like a roach."

The NAACP and Louisiana Legislative Black Caucus have issued statements saying Odinet should resign or be removed from her position, and someone who would allow those comments to be made in their home should not be in a position of power.

NAACP, Louisiana, Judge, Resignation, Racist Comments
A logo is seen for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People as NAACP President and CEO Cornell William Brooks speaks during a press conference at the Lincoln Memorial June 15, 2015 in Washington, D.C. The Lafayette, Louisiana chapter of the NAACP has called for the resignation of a local judge who recently confirmed a video containing racist language was recorded in her home. Win McNamee/Getty Imagesw

Odinet, in her statement, said she was emotional after an armed burglary, although police said Tuesday there was no indication the suspect was armed.

"We ask for your understanding, forgiveness, patience and prayers," she added.
The president of the Lafayette Chapter of the NAACP, Michael Toussaint, called for Odinet's resignation.

"I have never met Judge Odinet, only heard her voice in campaign adds. But because she has confirmed that the video was in fact taken inside her home, one would think that as a sitting judge, a mother, a community leader, a person in position of authority, that she would have stepped up and taken a stand against that type of language in her own home," Toussaint said in a statement to Lafayette news outlets.

City Marshal Reggie Thomas, the first Black person to be elected to a citywide office in Lafayette, said Odinet should be held accountable for the video's racist language, saying "a mere ineffectual and weak apology will not suffice."

The Louisiana Legislative Black Caucus also issued a call for Odinet to resign.
"In the event she doesn't resign, we request that the Louisiana Judiciary Commission Immediately appoint an ad hoc judge to hear cases in her division, investigate this incident and ultimately remove her," the group said in a news release.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.