Issued: December 15, 2021

The Urban League of Louisiana condemns the racist remarks made by Lafayette City Court Judge Michelle Odinet that were recently captured on video.

Remarks like these are unacceptable in any circumstance, but it is abhorrent to hear it come from an official who is entrusted to serve her community. Her position of power and authority requires a level of decency, and the people of Lafayette should be able to expect any judge that has been elected to serve be unbiased and respectful of those who come before them. Her display of blatant racism goes against the most basic qualities that should be expected from a sitting judge.

Unpaid leave was one obvious and immediate step, but it does not address the deep fears that Black people have about her judgement and racism. Judge Odinet should be ashamed of her reprehensible remarks and the Urban League of Louisiana calls for her immediate resignation. We also call upon the Judiciary Board of Louisiana to investigate this matter further and remove Judge Odinet from her position in the interest of fairness should she not resign.

Racial bias has no place in our world, especially from people responsible for protecting civil and human rights. The Urban League of Louisiana will continue to advocate for a more fair and just system that is free from racism and prejudice.