A Colorado judge resigned after she exhibited problematic, racist behavior during her time on the bench.
According to The Washington Post, the Supreme Court of Colorado asked former Judge Natalie T. Chase to resign on Friday after censuring her. A report released by the court found she was involved in four specific incidents which included using the n-word in front of Black colleagues, and asking a Black court facilitator why white people aren’t allowed to use the racist slur.
Chase, who is white, “undermined confidence in the impartiality of the judiciary by expressing [her] views about criminal justice, police brutality, race and racial bias, specifically while wearing [her] robe in court staff work areas and from the bench,” a report from the Colorado Supreme Court stated.
The court agreed that Chase repeatedly violated Canon Rule 1.2, which requires judges to act in ways deemed dignified for someone who sits behind the bench.
Chase’s resignation followed a slew of complaints regarding her behavior in and outside of the courtroom.
During one incident Chase repeatedly berated a Black woman court facilitator while Chase drove the woman to a conference in Pueblo, Colorado. According to the woman, Chase asked “why Black people can use the n-word but not White people, and whether it was different if the n-word is said with an ‘er’ or an ‘a’ at the end of the word,” all the while frequently using the word during the conversation.
The woman reported that she felt stunned, “angry and hurt,” over Chase’s flippant usage of the word and her line of questioning. She decided to keep quiet about the incident out fear of retaliation from Chase.
In a separate incident, Chase reportedly told two Black employees who were discussing the inequities in the George Floyd case that “all lives matter.”
Last year two Black courtroom employees said they were approached by Chase during a discussion around the Super Bowl. Chase told them that she planned on boycotting the game because she was not in agreement over the manner in which NFL players chose to protest the national anthem, in spite of the ongoing violence mitigated against Black communities.
Other reports from Chase’s colleagues paint a portrait of a difficult and overbearing employer who often shared personal information that made others uncomfortable. One employee said Chase referred to another judge as a a “f—— b—-,” and also forced her staff to undertake personal errands.
While Chase has apologized, her resignation goes into effect in six weeks.
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