A Manhattan Family Court clerk was caught on a hot mic allegedly calling a black teenage defendant the N-word, according to the young man’s attorney.
The clerk, Donna A. Prainito, who is white, didn’t realize her microphone was on when she used the racial slur to refer to a 15-year-old in a virtual proceeding before Judge Jessica Bourbon Thursday, said his lawyer Holden Thornhill.
The incident occurred at the end of a plea proceeding when the judge directed Thornhill’s client to alert an Administration for Children’s Services staffer that the hearing was about to end.
“He turns around to do that and as he does that his rear end is now in the camera, inadvertently,” Thornhill recalled in an interview.
“He’s wearing saggy pants so we’re all looking at his drawers. The clerk in the part mutters at that point, ‘Look at this f–king [N-word] and his f–king pants. F–king m——-n,’” Thornhill recalled.
“If you’re from New York and someone calls you a m——-n and you’re black you know you’ve been dissed. It has no pleasant connotation,” Thornhill said, referring to the Italian-American slur for a black person.