Black Judge Under Fire For Calling Out Racism Could Be Removed From Over 300 Cases

The first Black woman elected to serve as a judge in Louisiana’s 16th Judicial District, has come under fire for speaking out against racial injustice.

Last month, the 16th Judicial District Attorney’s Office in New Iberia, La., began requesting that Lori Landry be recused from pending criminal cases on the grounds that she “is biased or prejudiced against this office such that she cannot be fair or impartial.” Since then, the situation has escalated.

As of Wednesday, Landry was facing more than 300 virtually identical motions asking that she be removed from upcoming cases.

Some examples being used against Landry are comments she reportedly made from the bench, such as “Black men do not survive traffic stops with the police.” She also said that officers use the habitual offender statute “selectively, which disproportionately puts Black people in more harm or risk than anyone else.”

Landry — a former prosecutor — was first elected to the bench in 2002, after spending nearly nine years at the same district attorney’s office that is now accusing her of unfair treatment. Landry cannot hear or decide on cases while the motion to remove her is being considered.

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