Louisiana DA Tries to Remove Black Judge from Cases for Speaking on Racial Injustice

Black judge accuses attorney office of racial bias

Sixteenth Judicial District Attorney Bo Duhé’s office removed a black judge who stated that there was bias against African Americans and allegedly bullied staff, victims, and others in her courtroom.

What We Know:

  •  District Court Judge Lori Landry was elected in the primary on November 4, 2014 and became the first African American female to serve as assistant district attorney and judge in the district for eight and a half years. She has served on many Boards of Directors in the Acadiana area, such as United Way, Iberia, Jeanerette Chambers of Commerce, and special Boys and Girls Committees. She is also active in youth communities as a guest speaker.
  • According to The Washington Post, Landry released a statement saying that district attorneys “deliberately incarcerate African Americans more severely and at a higher rate than others”. Landry went on to talk about an instance of a white man receiving a “sweetheart deal” in a case, while black defendants didn’t receive that deal in similar cases.
  • The attorney’s office argued that Landry is biased, therefore she can’t have a fair judgment. Because of this, the office sought to remove Landry from over 300 cases with the same situation.
  • First Assistant District Attorney Robert Vines commented on the situation. “All that the District Attorney’s Office wants is what it is entitled to — a judge who fairly and impartially applies the law to the facts before her and who treats attorneys, staff, witnesses, victims, defendants and the public with respect.”
  • Landry has also been accused of bullying behavior and intimidation. In one instance, she allegedly berated an assistant district attorney for “having a “sour face”.
  • Judges Anthony Thibodeaux and Lewis H. Pitman Jr. will be hearing the motion for removal in court this week. Both judges are Caucasian.

When contacted Tuesday, Landry wasn’t able to comment on the case. To read the full recuse document click here.