A Louisiana judge who was caught on video repeatedly calling a black burglary suspect a ‘n****r’ will take a period of unpaid leave, her lawyer said today.

Michelle Odinet (52) is a 52-year-old mother of four. She made the racist remarks while she and her family were watching surveillance footage that showed the suspect trying to enter her house.

The short clip captured one of Odinet’s children saying ‘And mom’s yelling n****r, n****r,’ to which the Republican judge responds ‘We have a n****r. It’s a n****r, like a roach.’

Dane Ciolino, Odinet’s attorney announced Thursday that Odinet is embarrassed and sorry for the damage she has done to the community.

“Tomorrow, she is going on temporary leave without pay. In the weeks ahead, they’ll be dealing with what will happen over the long term. 

Video footage captured the moment Republican Louisiana judge Michelle Odinet, 52, said the 'n-word' twice

Video captures the moment that 52-year-old Republican Louisiana judge Michelle Odinet used the ‘n’ word twice

The mother of four was watching security footage with her family of an attempted burglary that happened at their home on Saturday morning

A mother of four watched security footage together with her family about an attempted break-in that took place at their house on Saturday morning

The suspect Ronald Handy, 59, was arrested and charged with two counts of simple burglary

Ronald Handy (59), was taken into custody and charged with simple burglary. 

This move was condemned by many local officials including the Lafayette City Marshal as well as the President of the NAACP’s local chapter.

Reggie Thomas of the City Marshal said to KLAF, “If anything happens in your household, you are responsible.” It is imperative that leaders address such things.

Odinet, her family and friends were able to see the entire video and laugh as they watched other members make racist comments and spew profanity.

Ronald Handy, a black man of 59 years, was charged with simple burglary.

Handy was seen by the Odinet family being removed from their front yard during an attempted burglary.

Odinet claimed she took a sedative at the time the video was recorded, but she doesn’t remember any comments she made. 

She told The Current that her children and she were victims of an armed burglary in their home. 

“The police called the authorities and arrested the attacker.” It was a shocking incident that shook me deeply and left my mental condition fragile.

“Anyone who knows me or my husband knows that this isn’t how we live our lives. 

“I deeply regret and beg for your forgiveness as I cope with the emotional consequences of this armed theft.”

Handy was however not found with any weapon when he was arrested.

The victim was able to quickly catch the suspect after he saw the victim arriving. According to the Lafayette Police Department report, the victim held the suspect until they arrived.

Lafayette City Marshall Reggie Thomas said that Odinet's language 'cannot be accepted or tolerated by anyone'

State Senator Gerald Boudreaux recommended that an investigation should be launched against Odinet

State officials such as Lafayette City Marshall Reggie Thomas (left) and State Senator Gerald Boudreaux (right) have called for action to be taken against Odinet following her racist comments

Kritikers who believe she should be removed from the bench haven’t been influenced by her excuses. 

Thomas stated to the Acadiana Advocate, “As a proud African man and Lafayette City Marshal I believe Judge Odinet should face accountability.”

“I think that it will prove difficult for people of color to believe that they will be treated equally and fairly when they are brought before Judge Odinet. 

“This language should not be used, even by those serving as city leaders.

“It’s up to Judge Odinet that she remembers the oath she took. Should she continue on the bench, she should find a way of winning back the trust and respect of all Lafayette residents, particularly African Americans. It will not be enough to offer a weak and ineffective apology.

Gerald Boudreaux (State Senator) was disturbed as well by the remarks and is now conducting an inquiry.

“I respectfully request that the Judiciary Commission of Louisiana examine the ethics and the actions connected with these recent developments,” he stated in a release. 

Alanah Odoms is the American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana’s executive director. She has also called for an investigation into Odinet’s conduct.  

This behavior raises questions about Judge Odinet’s competence to hear Black defendants before her court. Odoms stated to the Daily Advertiser that equal justice in law does not exist if judges view some individuals as subhuman. 

“We condemn the comments and accept them in Judge Odinet’s home. 

Odinet has been elected as the Lafayette City Court’s Division A chair in November 2020 

Only the Louisiana Supreme Court has the power to remove Odinet, as she is in a position which cannot be recalled.

A Judicial Commission investigation is required to determine if the person has been removed. This can often take many months.   

Odinet had been elected in November 2020 after winning 57 percent of the vote against candidate Jules Edwards III.

She assumed the seat in Division A for Judge Francie Bouillion, Lafayette City Court. 

Her previous experience includes being an assistant district attorney for New Orleans and Lafayette, as well working in a law office where she dealt with insurance defense cases.

After being elected she plans to begin on a veterans court program, working on financial aid methods, and creating cell phone lockers for them to stay out of the courtroom.