[UPDATE AT BOTTOM] A Manhattan court clerk is under investigation after allegedly calling a Black teenager the n-word on a hot mic.

Donna Prainito, a clerk at Manhattan Family Court, was overheard using the slur to describe a 15-year-old during a virtual proceeding on Thursday, according to the teenager's lawyer, Holden Thornhill.

The remark came as his client was being escorted out of the court room in handcuffs, he said.

"Look at this fucking n---er and his fucking pants," the woman allegedly said, before using an Italian-American epithet for Black people.

The comment was audible to the entire virtual hearing, including the judge and prosecutor, Thornhill said, noting that it appeared the woman believed she was muted at the time. According to the Post, which first reported the story, Prainito apologized over text message to the attorney.

The incident comes after a report commissioned in the wake of last summer's racial justice protests uncovered pervasive institutional racism within the New York State Court system. Instances of overt racism from court employees, including the routine use of slurs against Black defendants, were common, according to Jeh Johnson, the former Homeland Security Secretary who led the investigation.

In an email to Gothamist, a spokesperson for the state's court system, Lucian Chalfen, said the incident was under investigation by the court's Inspector General for Bias Matters. He didn't name the employee, but said a court staffer was "overheard to have allegedly used some racially charged language" during the proceeding.

Thornhill, who is Black, said the response "minimized" the actions of the clerk, and was indicative of the court system's ongoing failure to address its deep-seated biases. He said the problem was especially pronounced in family court, noting that many employees who interacted with clients live outside of the five boroughs.

According to the Post, which first reported the story, Prainito apologized over text message to the attorney.

The Johnson report found that high volume of cases within family, housing, civil and criminal courts had created a "cattle-call culture" that dehumanized people of color. It concluded that the court should create a "zero tolerance" policy for racial bias, among other recommendations, which New York State Chief Judge Janet DiFiore vowed to implement immediate.

"As judges and court professionals, we have a solemn obligation to identify and eliminate racial bias from our courts and from the justice system wherever it may exist," DiFiore said.

Attempts to reach Prainito were unsuccessful.

UPDATE April 18th: Prainito has been suspended without pay pending the outcome of the investigation, Chalfen, the state courts spokesperson, wrote in a statement sent to the New York Law Journal.

"In line with the chief judge’s zero tolerance policy for any form of bias or discriminatory speech or actions, the New York City Family Court clerk overheard making racially demeaning comments at the conclusion of a proceeding, has been suspended," Chalfen wrote.

The Legal Aid Society praised the decision to suspend Prainito. Dawne Mitchell, Attorney-In-Charge of the Juvenile Rights Project at The Legal Aid Society, wrote in a statement that "this move signals a commitment to address this abhorrent behavior with a zero tolerance policy. Young New Yorkers and their families who appear in Family Court, the overwhelming majority from communities of color, deserve dignified and respectful treatment from a system that too often fails to provide it."