Petition to remove judge who shamed elderly cancer sufferer over unkempt yard reaches 175,000 signatures

·3-min read
Petition to remove Judge Alexis Krot reaches over 175,000 signatures (Change.org)
Petition to remove Judge Alexis Krot reaches over 175,000 signatures (Change.org)

A petition to remove a judge who shamed an elderly cancer sufferer over his unkempt yard has grown to more than 175,000 signatures and counting.

Judge Alexis Krot, of the 31st District in Michigan, told 72-year-old Burhan Chowdhury he “should be ashamed” and that she would “give you jail time” if she could during a court appearance on 10 January.

Mr Chowdhury, who moved to the US from Bangladesh in 2010, was given a ticket in August for allowing the alley by his home in Hamtramck, near Detroit, to become overgrown with weeds.

The elderly man appeared breathless in the hearing as he told the judge he had struggled to maintain his yard because his cancer treatment had left him weak and “very sick”.

Judge Krot took no pity on him, slapping him with a $100 fine and berating him: “You should be ashamed of yourself! If I could give you jail time on this, I would.”

The judge repeatedly told Mr Chowdhury he should be “ashamed” and that the mess was inexcusable, as he told her that he had been “very sick”.

“The neighbours should not have to look at that,” she said.

She also ordered Mr Chowdhury to clean up his yard - despite the yard having been tended to prior to the court appearance.

“You’ve got to get that cleaned up. That is totally inappropriate,” she said.

Mr Chowdhury’s son Shibbir was also present on the hearing, which took place over Zoom, and told Judge Krot his father’s illness had left him unable to tend to the yard and property.

His comments were met with further fury from the judge who exclaimed: “Have you seen that photo?”

The court appearance sparked outrage with thousands calling for the judge’s removal after a video clip was posted on social media.

A photo of the elderly man’s property is shown to the court during the 10 January hearing (Screenshot via Instagram)
A photo of the elderly man’s property is shown to the court during the 10 January hearing (Screenshot via Instagram)

A Change.org petition, titled “Remove Judge Alexis Krot!!!” had reached more than 175,954 signatures as of Monday morning ET.

“Burhan Chowdhury received a ticket from the city of Hamtramck for an unkept alleyway, however as he was explaining to the judge that he couldn’t keep up with yard work due to the fact that he had cancer,” the petition reads.

“As seen in the linked video below, Mr Chowdhury was out of breath and apologized as well as said since then he had help and cleaned the alleyway.

“The judge, Alexis G. Krot, shamed him, spoke over him, and told him he could not use cancer as an excuse.”

The petition adds: “We’re calling for action from the city of Hamtramck to remove Alexis Krot as a judge!”

Shibbir Chowdhury told the Washington Post that he had been helping his father around his home and yard since he was diagnosed with lymphoma in 2019.

Burhan Chowdhury appears over Zoom in front of the judge (Screenshot via Instagram)
Burhan Chowdhury appears over Zoom in front of the judge (Screenshot via Instagram)

However, he said he had been in Bangladesh for three months prior to the ticket being issued and so the condition of the yard had deteriorated in his absence.

He said the yard had been tidied following his return and long before January’s court appearance.

“She was telling my father, a sick person, that he should go to jail. That’s ridiculous,” the elderly man’s son told the outlet.

“You can’t give a 72-year-old person jail time for not cleaning an alley.”

He added: “I was really shocked by it. I didn’t expect her to yell at us in this kind of a situation.”

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