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Michigan judge apologizes for berating 72-year-old cancer patient about unkempt yard

Posted at 10:20 AM, Jan 21, 2022

HAMTRAMCK, Mich. — A Michigan judge who berated a cancer-stricken man for his unkempt yard had issued an apology.

Michigan 31st District Court Judge Alexis Krot was criticized online last week after video went viral of a Jan. 10 hearing where 72-year-old Burhan Chowdhury was cited for failing to maintain his property.

In the video, Krot called the state of Chowdhury's yard "shameful."

"The neighbors should not have to look at that. If I could give you jail time on this, I would," Krot said.

Chowdhury tried to explain that he has cancer and has limited mobility.

"I don't know why she so angry on me," Chowdhury said.

His son, Shibbir Chowdhury, says he usually takes care of his father's yard work. However, he got married last year and was out of the country for three months, so the weeds grew at his father's property.

"I know my garage yard grew up, but I try my best," Burhan Chowdhury said.

Chowdhury's son said he cleaned up the weeds soon after returning home from Bangladesh. He added that he hoped the judge would throw out the ticket and $100 fine because of his father's health, but the opposite happened.

"Nobody should face this kind of behavior," Shibbir Chowdhury said.

Krot issued a written apology Tuesday and said she reported herself to the Judicial Tenure Committee. A committee member says a review can take up to a year, but because the judge reported herself, they would review the case in the next few months.

"I made a mistake. I acted intemperately. I'm very embarrased that I did so. I apologize to the person who appeared before me and to our entire community for having failed to meet the high standard we expect of our judicial officers and that I expect of myself," Krot's apology read.

The judge's scolding sent waves across social media. An online petitionwith over 200,000 signatures demands Krot be removed from the bench. Another online pledge drive has raised more than $2,500 for the Chowdhury.

Read Krot's full apology letter below.

This story was originally published by Scripps station WXYZ in Detroit.