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Colorado judge resigns after repeatedly using the n-word while asking an 'uncomfortable' black court worker 'why black people can say it but not white people'

 A judge in Colorado who repeatedly said the n-word when asking a black colleague why white people can't use the term is stepping down from the bench.

The Supreme Court of Colorado said on Friday that they had accepted the resignation  of the 18th Judicial District's Natalie T. Chase, that will be effective in 45 days after her notice.

Chase also faced a number of other complaints about her behaviour in the courtroom and with colleagues, with numerous claims of racist or unprofessional behaviour made against her.

Her Friday resignation comes after the state Supreme Court censured her following a report that found she '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.'

According to the court, Chase admitted in early 2020, she was driving back from a program with a Family Court Facilitator when she asked the colleague, who is black, why black people can use the n-word, but not white people.


Chase, who is white, also asked whether the word is different when it ends with an 'er' or an 'a', and used the full word 'a number of times'.

'The Family Court Facilitator was uncomfortable because she could not leave the car or leave the conversation,' the court's opinion wrote. 

The Family Court Facilitator felt angry and hurt by the conversation. She has explained that Judge Chase's use of the full n-word was "like a stab through my heart each time."'

'The Family Court Facilitator did not feel free to express her discomfort or emotions due to fear of retaliation by Judge Chase,' the opinion read.


It noted that Chase agreed that she violated Canon Rule 1.2, which requires judges to act in a way that promoted public confidence in the bench.

In another incident while Chase was sitting on her bench, she asked two black court employees in May 2020 to explain the Black Lives Matter movement after she overheard them talking about the protests in Denver over the death of George Floyd.

Floyd, a black man, was killed while he was being detained by a white officer, Derek Chauvin, who is currently on trial over the killing.

Upon hearing their explanation, Chase said she thought the police involved in Floyd's death should be investigated, but she maintained that 'all lives matter,' a phrase that has been used to counter the Black Lives Matter movement.

'Judge Chase asked one employee some questions about the Black Lives Matter movement,' the opinion stated. 

'The employee tried to explain the Black Lives Matter movement, and Judge Chase stated that she believes all lives matter. Judge Chase also stated that the conduct of the police officers in the George Floyd matter should be investigated.' 

In a court break in February last year, Chase overheard two black employees talking about the Super Bowl.

Her Friday resignation comes after the state Supreme Court (pictured) censured her following a report that found she '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.'

Her Friday resignation comes after the state Supreme Court (pictured) censured her following a report that found she '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.'

While sitting on the bench in her judges robe, Chase told them 'she would be boycotting the Super Bowl because she objected to the NFL players who were kneeling during the national anthem in protest of police brutality against Black people,' according to court documents. 

Another allegation of misconduct against Chase said she assigned a law clerk early last year to do research unrelated to the judge's own case load, but rather for 'personal family legal issues.'

Furthermore, several times last year, Chase asked her clerk to proofread and re-write her personal emails before sending them, and after returning from a meeting with another judge, she told her Clerk that the judge was a 'f****** b****', documents say.

She is also said to have 'repeatedly discussed personal and family matters ' with staff and other court employees during work hours and in work settings 'in a manner that was not dignified or courteous,' the court documents say.

And last August, Chase declined an ambulance after a medical incident at the courthouse. Instead, court documents say she asked one of the court employees to drive her to the emergency room, and asked them to stay with her at the hospital.

'The employee missed a half day of work to accommodate Judge Chase,' the documents said.

Chase is the latest judge to resign or face disciplinary action in recent years after facing complaints of racist behaviour in the courtroom, according to The Washington Post

Last February, a Louisiana judge left her job after she admitted to using the n-word multiple times in text messages to her lover.

Last November, a Pennsylvania judge resigned following several charges of misconduct, including calling a black juror 'Aunt Jemima' and speculating that she had a drug-dealing 'baby daddy'.

Earlier this year in March, a judge in Washington said he would take time off after a video surfaced of him ridiculing a young black man who was shot and killed by two sheriff's deputies.

Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) appointed Chase to Colorado's 18th Judicial District Court in 2014. She had owned a private firm focusing on family law, criminal law and estate planning. She mainly oversaw domestic relations cases.     

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