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Lafayette judge facing questions over racist remarks in video

Posted at 5:16 PM, Dec 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-13 23:47:32-05

A Lafayette judge is facing questions over a racist video being circulated online following an attempted burglary at her home over the weekend.

Lafayette Police confirm someone was arrested after a vehicle burglary early Saturday morning.

The incident happened at the home of Judge Michelle Odinet.

A video was shared with KATC and other media outlets. It apparently shows a group of people watching home surveillance

A woman's voice can be heard saying the n-word and comparing the suspect to a roach.

Judge Odinet confirms to The Current the video was shot in her home.

But in a statement to The Current, Judge Odinet says she has zero recollection of the video and the disturbing language.

She says she was given a sedative at the time of the video. Below is a response from Odinet on the incident and video.

"My children and I were the victim of an armed burglary at our home. The police were called and the assailant was arrested. The incident shook me to my core and my mental state was fragile. I was a wreck and am still unable to sleep. 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. 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."

Chase Edwards is an associate professor of law at UL. He says Judge Odinet will face more questions in the days ahead.

"I definitely think this is something that um deserves more of an explanation and would absolutely be front and center in a future election," Edwards told KATC. "If I was a person of color in this community and I found myself in front of a judge who used terms like that to refer to me and my people, then I would have a tough time believing that the system was fair and balanced."

"Not much to say beyond the point that people want a judge who respects everyone equally," says G Paul Marx, District Public Defender for Louisiana's 15th Judicial District, in a written statement. "This recording does not represent that level of respect that people subject to important decisions from a court are entitled to. Our Supreme Court will be looking into this."

Under arrest in the burglary case is Robert Handy. He's due in court Tuesday on two counts of simple burglary of an automobile.

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