Illustration for article titled A Racist Judge, An Alleged Affair and N-Word Laced Text Messages Put 8 Years of Cases Under Review
Screenshot: WBRZ2

Ideally, you really don’t want racists working in any position where they have to interact with the general public regularly.

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You don’t want them in education because black children just aren’t safe around racist teachers. It’s no good having them in finance or making decisions on who can and can’t buy a home because black people will certainly get the shaft there. It’s not even safe to have them serving your food because of what they may do to it if you give them even the slightest bit of your black ass attitude.

But if you were to ask black people at random in what profession racists do the most damage in society and especially in the black community, most of them will likely tell you that it’s in law enforcement.

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According to ABC affiliate WBRZ2, Assumption Parish, Louisiana’s 23rd Judicial District Judge Jessie Leblanc stands accused of sending a series of racist text messages to a former deputy chief — who she’d been previously accused of having an affair with — regarding one of his African-American deputies and an African-American law clerk.

Sheriff Leland Falcon sat down with WBRZ and told them that former Chief Deputy Bruce Prejean received messages from Leblanc in December of 2018 that refer to Assumption Deputy Erick Taylor as a dirty thug cop and a nigger. They also refer to Judge Alvin Turner’s law clerk, Brianne Sterling as a nigger.

Here is a transcript of a text conversation between Leblanc and Prejean provided by WBRZ:

LEBLANC’S PHONE: Goodbye

LEBLANC’S PHONE: And you don’t have to pretend we are friends in front of other people. I’ve also learned not to be fake.

LEBLANC’S PHONE: So if someone has a question refer them to me.

LEBLANC’S PHONE: And if you feel the need to share my text messages-please share them all so they get the FULL story.

LEBLANC’S PHONE: I’m sure you are with thug ni**** Erick. He is such a good friend.

LEBLANC’S PHONE: I can’t wait till the day he is called out for what he is. Dirty cop. Thug. Ni****.

LEBLANC’S PHONE: I guess this time ends with sour grapes too and an inability to talk. It’s ok. I’ll be just fine.

PREJEAN: I see how you feel. I’m still your friend.

LEBLANC’S PHONE: Friends don’t call friends liars.

LEBLANC’S PHONE: I suppose we have different definitions of what a friend is.

LEBLANC’S PHONE: If Brianne makes you happy- good for you. I just feel sorry for your kids and grandkids.

LEBLANC’S PHONE: What an embarrassment

PREJEAN: I’m not seeing Brianne

LEBLANC’S PHONE: At least I was NEVER unfaithful to you with ANYONE- much less a ni****.

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Leblanc’s attorney Jill Craft denied that the judge sent the messages and claims the copies provided to WBRZ have been altered, but Prejean signed a sworn affidavit saying the messages are, in fact, real and undoctored.

Sheriff Falcon said Prejean turned the messages over to him this week.

“We have again had a dialogue with Captain Prejean and he has informed us that the two copies of text messages in question were received on Captain Prejean’s private cell phone and came from cell phone number 225-***-****, that phone being that of Judge Jessie Leblanc,” Falcon said. “There is other supporting evidence to confirm Captain Prejean’s statement of authenticity of the messages as received by him.”

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Now for the good part:

According to District Attorney Ricky Babin, now that these texts have come to light, every case Leblanc has presided over in her eight years as an Assumption Parish judge will be under new scrutiny and letters will be sent to every defendant who has ever appeared in her courtroom as well as their attorneys regarding her racist language.

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“It’s a daunting task,” Babin said. “We are still going through all the other cases in Assumption Parish.”

To give you an idea of just how bad this looks for Leblanc, the embattled judge already has had some 600 of her cases under review since last month when Prejean admitted to having an affair with her which came to light in December after Leblanc refused to sign a warrant citing the personal relationship she had with the former deputy chief (who has since been demoted).

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Leblanc denies ever being involved with Prejean (apparently her favorite n-word next to “nigger” is “nah”) and instead insists that her affair was actually with an undercover agent who was also named in the warrant. (Because that’s somehow better.) According to WBRZ Prejean admitted to the affair after a long investigation ensued and Leblanc fled to Florida after the affair was revealed, leaving Supreme Court-appointed temporary judges to fill in for her. She returned to the bench this month.

Because Leblanc presided over many cases Prejean was involved in during the alleged affair, the district attorney sent notices to hundreds of defendants and attorneys to alert them of the possible conflict. These new letters sent after the text messages were revealed are in addition to those.

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So it’s been a bad last few months for Judge Leblanc, but good times for anyone who loves to see racists in positions of authority being held accountable. It would be even better if she is removed from the bench.

Zack Linly is a poet, performer, freelance writer, blogger and grown man lover of cartoons

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