Restaurant bans Baton Rouge judge after allegations surface he u - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Restaurant that banned Baton Rouge judge releases statement about racial slur incident

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Judge Mike Erwin (Source: 19th Judicial District Court website) Judge Mike Erwin (Source: 19th Judicial District Court website)

An allegation that a Baton Rouge District judge used a racial slur at a popular restaurant has prompted outrage, but the parties involved have remained silent. 

The restaurant where the alleged incident occurred released a statement Thursday morning. 

Sammy’s Grill is an equal opportunity employer that is committed to following federal, state and local discrimination and harassment laws.  We respect and appreciate our employees and patrons and will make all reasonable efforts to ensure they are not subjected to inappropriate behavior. Sammy’s Grill will conduct all operations in accord with those values and in keeping with our values, we do not condone or tolerate any activity by guests that make other guests or our valued employees feel uncomfortable or unwelcome.  

The unverified incident was made public on social media by Kaneitra Johnson. She claims that on Friday, February 3, Judge Michael Erwin called her the "N-word" twice during a heated exchange over a seat at the restaurant. 

It ended with the East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office being called out, but no one was arrested. Reports say Sheriff’s Office deputies spoke with others in the restaurant, who say they did not hear the conversation and could not confirm hearing any racial slurs.

Johnson was scheduled to do an interview at the WTQT radio station Wednesday evening. 9News was set to be there, but just 30 minutes before the show started, Johnson told hosts she had changed her mind, saying she preferred to speak with her attorney first.

9News also reached out to Judge Erwin, who at this time has not commented on the story. Erwin was first elected in 1991 and was just re-elected to a new six-year term in 2014.

On Monday, February 13, a press conference was held downtown with Reverend Reginald Pitcher, the NAACP, and other East Baton Rouge Parish elected officials. Johnson was also present at the press conference, but declined to make a comment. The press conference can be viewed below:

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