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After WBRZ report on racist messages sent from judge's phone, NAACP files complaint with Supreme Court

4 months 2 weeks 5 days ago Monday, February 24 2020 Feb 24, 2020 February 24, 2020 1:26 PM February 24, 2020 in News
Source: WBRZ

NAPOLEONVILLE – The NAACP filed a complaint with the Louisiana Supreme Court after WBRZ reported on a string of racist text messages sent from the phone of an area district judge.

WBRZ was first to report on the messages and allegations of an affair involving the judge and a sheriff’s deputy.

Last week, Assumption Parish Sheriff Leland Falcon said the racist text messages were sent to a deputy from a phone belonging to embattled 23rd Judicial District Judge Jessie Leblanc.

Falcon said the deputy, Bruce Prejean, received the messages in December of 2018 which refer to another deputy as a "dirty cop, thug, and a [racist expletive]." The sheriff also said the text messages refer to Judge Alvin Turner's law clerk, Brianne Sterling as a [expletive]."

WBRZ has made an editorial decision to not directly quote the word - an offensive word beginning with an "N."

Prejean admitted to a lengthy intimate relationship with the judge last month. Leblanc presided over cases he was involved in during the alleged affair, so the district attorney sent notices to hundreds of people to alert them of the possible conflict.

District Attorney Ricky Babin said letters will now be going out to every single defendant who has ever appeared before Judge Jessie Leblanc beginning in 2012, when she was first sworn in, until now. The defendants and their attorneys will be notified of the racist language she allegedly used. Judge Leblanc presides over cases for things as minor as a traffic ticket all the way up to a murder charge.

Monday, the NAACP said it was filing a complaint with the state’s highest court over the text messages.

The NAACP demanded the judge’s resignation after the initial story appeared on WBRZ last week.

The president of the NAACP's Baton Rouge chapter, Eugene Collins, said he has been in touch with the national chapter as well. He said if Leblanc does not resign, demonstrations will begin at her offices.

Leblanc presides over cases in Ascension, Assumption and St. James parishes.

"Every single case she has ever touched should be questioned," Collins said. 

The Louisiana Supreme Court is closed until Wednesday because of Mardi Gras. 

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