A petition for her removal has picked up 3k signatures.
An elderly cancer patient who begged a judge for mercy after failing to keep his Michigan home clear of weeds was given a fine instead — as well as an earful.
Burhan Chowdhury, 72, was cited for allowing the alleyway behind his house to become unkempt. Appearing before Judge Alexis Krot via Zoom on Monday, he tried to explain the situation… but he didn’t get much sympathy.
“You have a ticket for August 2nd, 2021 for failing to keep the walkway, sidewalk or alley clear of weeds or other nuisance vegetation,” the judge told him, showing a photo of the overgrown alleyway. “You can plead responsible, responsible with an explanation or not responsible.”
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Through broken English and labored breathing, Chowdhury attempted option 2 — and was summarily shut down.
“I am a cancer patient, very old ma’am,” he tried to explain. “I was then very weak.”
“He was sick,” his son Shibbir, beside him, offered.
Judge Krot, however, was unmoved.
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“You should be ashamed of yourself!” she berated him. “If I could give you jail time on this I would.”
Luckily for Chowdhury, prison was not within the judge’s sentencing powers for the crime, so she issued him a $100 fine instead.
“You better get that cleaned up,” she scolded. “That is totally inappropriate.”
Shibbir asked the judge if the fine was “forgivable, because my father is currently sick,” explaining to her that he had since helped his dad pull up the weeds; but he was quickly cut off.
“Do you see that photo?!” Judge Krot shouted. “That is shameful! SHAMEFUL! The neighbors should not have to look at that. You should be ashamed of yourself.”
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As the father and son tried one more desperate bid for leniency, she appeared to threaten him with further punishment, shouting over them: “… you’re going to jail.”
Shibbir told ClickonDetroit his father had been diagnosed with cancer in the lymph nodes in 2019, and that the treatments inhibit his mobility. He said since the diagnosis, he and his mother have been doing their best to maintain the property.
“I usually take care of the stuff in the backyard and everything, but that time I was out of the country,” the son explained.
Shibbir accepts that a city ordinance was violated; he confirmed the weeds had been since cleared, and that the family intends to pay the fine.
“There was really mistakes I should have taken care of that,” he said. “But, yeah, still, like she should have said my father more politely.”
After video of the court interaction began circulating online, so did a petition to have the City of Hamtramck remove Judge Krot; it has since picked up more than 3k signatures.
“This is disgusting and shameful,” one signee wrote. “Being a judge in a city like Hamtramck where almost all of its residents are immigrants or of an immigrant family, she needs to be more aware and understanding of how she talks to people. Everybody should be treated equally and with justice… Instead of applying the laws and making people follow them rightfully, they make people hate the laws.”
“Hamtramck needs a compassionate and empathetic judge to its inhabitants,” another agreed. “How are we supposed to trust this justice system that lacks humanity?”
“This judge showed absolutely no empathy for a cancer patient audibly wheezing on video about his shrubbery,” wrote a third. “How can we expect her to make the right decision when stakes are higher.”
Per the outlet, as a judge, Krot is not permitted to comment on the story.
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