Judge resigning after censure for racial slur

DENVER — A Colorado judge will resign after being censured for repeatedly saying a racial slur in a conversation with a Black employee, expressing her views on racial justice while on the bench as well as using court employees to work on personal business.

The Colorado Supreme Court issued the censure for 18th Judicial District Judge Natalie T. Chase on Friday, endorsing the state judicial disciplinary commission's conclusions that Chase undermined confidence in the judiciary and violated a rule against showing bias or prejudice based on race or ethnicity.

According to the court's ruling, Chase, who is white, drove a former court clerk and a family court facilitator to and from a training in Pueblo in early 2020 and, on the way back, asked the facilitator, who is Black, why Black people can use the N-word but not white people and whether it was different in the word ended with an "er" or an "a."

Chase, who works in Arapahoe County near Denver, used the full word a number of times. The facilitator, who could not leave the car or the conversation, later said each time was "like a stab through my heart," but she did not feel free to express her anger and pain to the judge due to fear of retaliation, the ruling said.

The court noted that Chase agreed with the commission's findings but said she did not intend any "racial animus."

— The Associated Press

School students walk out in support of Black teacher

BALTIMORE — Nearly 100 Baltimore private school students and teachers walked out of class Friday to show support for a Black teacher who resigned after posting a video describing her interaction with a white student.

Adrienne Knight, a middle school drama teacher at Bryn Mawr School, resigned earlier this year. The resignation came after Knight posted a YouTube video exploring the racial implications of her conversation with a student who refused to clean up a mess she made and instead told Knight to "fetch" her some cleaning materials.

News outlets report Friday's walkout and protest also included students at two other private schools in the city, Roland Park Country School and Gilman School. Black students at the three predominantly white schools have coordinated advocacy efforts following nationwide protests last year over racial injustice.

Bryn Mawr declined to address Knight's resignation but issued a statement Friday supporting students for "using their bold voices for a better world."

— The Associated Press

Officer faces criminal charges in racist rant

WESTWOOD, Mass. — A white Massachusetts police officer who authorities say assaulted her husband and threatened her son's Black friend in a heated dispute over the Black Lives Matter movement is now facing criminal charges.

The Boston Globe reported a district court clerk magistrate ruled Thursday there's probable cause for criminal charges against Patricia Lio, 52, of Westwood.

The Milton police officer, who has been on paid administrative leave since October, is expected to be arraigned on a charge of assault to intimidate and a charge of assault and battery.

The off-duty incident happened last September while Lio's 15-year-old son watched a basketball game with a Black and a Hispanic friend during a sleepover.

Police say Lio aggressively confronted the Black teen about his support of the Black Lives Matter movement, using expletives, clenching her fists and standing close to his face.

Officers say Lio punched her husband in the face as he tried to intervene. The husband, however, testified in court this week that his wife didn't strike him and that the blood on his nose was from a work-related injury, the Globe reported.

— The Associated Press

Lawsuit: Grant program not open to all minorities

MILWAUKEE — A lawsuit filed Thursday by a Madison couple and others alleges that a college grant program for minorities violates the Wisconsin Constitution.

The complaint said grants offered by the state's Higher Educational Aids Board are available to some minorities but not to others. Konkanok Rabiebna and Richard Freihoefer, of Madison, say their biracial teenage son is not eligible for the grant program.

"Government programs must be available to everybody, not just certain racial groups," Rabiebna said in a statement.

The Minority Undergraduate Retention Grant program is open to those who are Black, Native American or Hispanic or who came to the United States from Vietnam, Laos or Thailand after December 1975, soon after the Vietnam War ended, the Journal Sentinel reported.

— The Associated Press

Bar owner charged in attack on student

QUINCY, Ill. — An aggravated battery charge has been filed against a Quincy, Illinois, bar owner in connection with an attack on a Black suburban Chicago college student.

The Adams County state's attorney's office on Wednesday accused Steven Homan, 47, of placing his arm around the neck of Jazzpher Evans, 19, of Joliet and dragging her for 20 seconds.

Evans, a freshman member of Quincy University's women's basketball team, has said she and another Quincy student were standing near the DJ booth of a bar called The Barn to make a music request when the April 4 attack began. She said Homan, who is white, cursed at her, threw her to the ground, punched her and put her in a chokehold until she was unconscious.

"He didn't even say anything to me at first," she recalled in news conference at a Joliet church after the attack. "The first thing he did was put his hands on me. He didn't ask me to leave. He didn't ask me what I was doing by the DJ booth. His first instinct was to shove me up against the gate."

Evans said the bar owner cursed at her, threw her to the ground, punched her and put her in a chokehold until she was unconscious. She expressed the belief the attack was racially motivated.

— The Associated Press

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