‘I was upset’ – Judge under pressure to resign for using racial slurs on black employees

Mohammed Awal Feb 26, 2020 at 10:30am

February 26, 2020 at 10:30 am | News

Mohammed Awal

Mohammed Awal

February 26, 2020 at 10:30 am | News

Image credit: Screenshot; WAFB

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) has intensified its calls on a Louisiana District Court Judge Jesse LeBlanc to resign.

The calls for LeBlanc who’s the Assumption Parrish Judge to resign heightened after she admitted of making racial slurs about African-American courtroom employees. 

It’s worth noting that LeBlanc denied ever making racist remarks about African-American employees of the court earlier.

However, in a remarkable U-turn, the embattled judge owned up to her racist behavior and sought forgiveness.

“I admit that I used that word,” LeBlanc said during an interview with WAFB. “I profusely apologize for that. I should have never said it. It was uncalled for. I was angry. I was upset. But, it’s no excuse.”

LeBlanc made the racist comments during what she described as “in a moment of a heated exchange” with her then-boyfriend and former chief deputy in Assumption Parish, Bruce Prejean

LeBlanc has previously admitted that she had an affair with Bruce Prejean, according to the outlet. Both were married to other people at the time.

The racist comments were contained in a text.

“It is something I’m not proud of,” LeBlanc said of the affair. “I’ve had to apologize to my husband. I will continue to have to apologize to my husband, my children, and my God for the rest of my life.”

Prejean was demoted from his position as Chief Deputy after he admitted to the affair last year.

Also in a rare move, District Attorney Ricky Babin and the district’s lead public defender earlier this year filed a motion asking that LeBlanc voluntarily remove herself from criminal matters in Assumption Parish or be forced to do so because of the affair, WAFB reported.

In NAACP’s resignation calls, it said LeBlanc’s earlier denial of using racial slurs showed “blatant disrespect for members of the African American Community, and further shows Judge LeBlanc shouldn’t be serving. The NAACP has planned a series of peaceful demonstrations, both electronic and physical.” 

According to The Advocate, the disturbing messages were discovered by Assumption Parish Sheriff Leland Falcon.

“At least I was NEVER unfaithful to you with ANYONE- much less a n—-r,” one of the messages read. LeBlanc further referred to one of her employees as a “thug n—-r” in a separate message.

“The messages speak for themselves,” Falcon said, adding, “… and when enjoined by all the facts available to us, all of which we’ve made available to the media, the texts speak loudly and there’s no question as to who sent them.”

In her admission after initially saying the messages were doctored, LeBlanc told WAFB: “In lashing out at him, in those text messages, I lashed out at two of his African-American friends

“One of them being that law clerk. I did call them that name. They don’t deserve that. They deserve an apology from me. And, I sincerely apologize to both of them for using that word.” 

According to Eugene Collins, president of the Baton Rouge NAACP, “she should be removed from the bench.”

LeBlanc, however, has no plans to abdicate her judgeship. Her term on the bench ends in December and plans to run for another term.

“I know that I treat everyone with respect,” she told WAFB. “It doesn’t matter who you are… And, that’s how I was raised. I was not raised to treat someone based upon the color of their skin. So, to those people, I tell them, yes, I made a horrible decision in using those slurs toward those people. I ask for forgiveness from them. I’ve asked for forgiveness from my God. And, I know that I am not a person that bases you off the color of your skin.”

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