HAMTRAMCK, MI – A Michigan judge is coming under fire after video surfaced of her shaming and fining a 72-year-old cancer patient in court who said he’s too weak to maintain his lawn, with the judge exclaiming that she wished she could put the elderly man in jail for not keeping up his yard.
District Judge Alexis G. Krot, who presides over the 31st District Court in Michigan, delivered perhaps one of the most disgusting diatribes from the bench earlier in January – shaming an elderly cancer patient and wishing she could throw him in jail because he admitted to being too frail to personally maintain the weeds growing in his back yard.
During a January 10th virtual court appearance, 72-year-old Burhan Chowdhury appeared before Judge Krot over an August 2021 citation he’d received regarding overgrown vegetation that had begun to protrude through portions of the alleyway along the back of his property.
Judge Krot read off the details of the civil infraction, telling Chowdhury he can plead “responsible, responsible with explanation, or not responsible.” In response, Chowdhury explained through labored breathing that he is simply not physically able to pull the weeds from his yard due to his cancer diagnosis.
“I am a cancer patient, very old, and I am a cancer patient. I have been very weak…and sick…very weak. And this time of rainy season, I can not look after these things.”
Instead of acknowledging anything remotely resembling empathy or understanding, Judge Krot sharply criticized the elderly cancer patient, saying, “You should be ashamed of yourself. If I could give you jail time on this, I would. The fine is $100, pay it by February 1st, and you better get that cleaned up. That is totally inappropriate.”
Shibbir Chowdhury, the elderly man’s 33-year-old son, was sitting beside his father during the virtual court hearing and noted that he’d already cleaned up his father’s yard and asked if Judge Krot would consider forgiving the $100 fine.
Before Shibbir could finish asking the judge for leniency, Judge Krot shot back and continued to berate and shame the elderly cancer patient.
“Did you see that photo?! That is shameful. Shameful! The neighbors should not have to look at that! You should be ashamed of yourself.”
Judge Alexis G Krot loses her mind over cancer patient not being able to clear out brush around his house. pic.twitter.com/vUWu9zHwnx
— Dallas (@59dallas) January 12, 2022
While it wasn’t acknowledged during the court hearing, namely due to Judge Krot’s unwillingness to allow Chowdhury or his 33-year-old son to say much in their defense, the nuisance vegetation had gotten a bit out of hand last summer. At the same time, Shibbir had traveled to Bangladesh for three months – and his father nor mother (who also is dealing with health issues) couldn’t tend to the weeds.
When Shibbir learned of the August 2021 citation upon returning home, he promptly took care of the weeds out in the backyard and thought that some consideration would be shown during the court appearance. But looking back at how the judge spoke to his father, he’s still shocked that she’d wish jail upon a sick, elderly man for weeds in the yard.
“She was telling my father, a sick person, that he should go to jail. That’s ridiculous. You can’t give a 72-year-old person jail time for not cleaning an alley.”
The official Facebook and Twitter accounts for the 31st District Court have since been removed online – likely stemming from backlash over Judge Krot’s demeanor on the bench. A petition has since gone live on Change.org calling for Judge Krot to be removed from the bench over the abhorrent display and lack of basic human decency.