Judge apologizes for scolding cancer patient about court

HAMTRAMCK, Mich. — A Michigan judge who chastised a man with cancer for his sloppy court had issued an apology.

Michigan’s 31st District Court Judge Alexis Krot came under fire online last week after video went viral of a January 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 court “shameful.”

“Neighbors shouldn’t have to watch this. If I could give you jail time for this, I would,” Krot said.

Chowdhury attempted to explain that he had cancer and had reduced mobility.

“I don’t know why she’s so mad at me,” Chowdhury said.

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

“I know my garage has grown, but I’m doing my best,” Burhan Chowdhury said.

Chowdhury’s son said he cleared the weeds shortly after returning from Bangladesh. He said he hoped the judge would dismiss the ticket and $100 fine because of his father’s health, but the opposite happened.

“No one should face this kind of behavior,” Shibbir Chowdhury said.

Krot issued a written apology on Tuesday and said she reported herself to the judicial tenure committee. A member of the committee says a review can take up to a year, but because the judge flagged himself, they would review the case in the coming months.

“I made a mistake. I acted intemperately. I am very embarrassed that I did. I apologize to the person who appeared before me and to our entire community for not respecting the high standards that we expect from our bailiffs and that I expect from me,” Krot’s apology reads.

The judge’s rebuke sent waves on social media. An online petition with over 200,000 signatures is calling for Krot to be removed from office. Another online pledge campaign 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.

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