Michigan Judge Alexis Krot is under fire for her overreaction to 72-year-old Burhan Chowdhury’s overgrown lawn.
During a Zoom hearing on Monday, Krot told Chowdhury, who is very ill with cancer, that he “should be ashamed of himself” for not keeping up with the landscaping around his house, according to the Washington Post.
Chowdhury’s son, 33-year-old Shibbir Chowdhury, explained to Krot that his father is sick.
Chowdhury was diagnosed with cancer in his lymph nodes in 2019, and his son and wife usually help him with the lawn. But after his son went to Bangladesh for three months during which there was reportedly also a particularly rainy season, the 72-year-old received a ticket on Aug. 2 for “failing to keep the fence, walkway, sidewalk or alley free of trees, leaves” or other items.
Shibbir added they already cleared the area after receiving the ticket, but his father was still required to appear in court to see if he would have to pay a fine.
Krot, who was appointed by former Michigan Governor Rick Snyder in 2016, was reelected in 2020 to the 31st District Court serving Hamtramck after running unopposed.
A daily dose of Asian America's essential stories, in under 5 minutes.
Get our collection of Asian America's most essential stories to your inbox daily for free.
Unsure? Check out our Newsletter Archive.
During the hearing, Krot told Chowdhury, “If I could give you jail time on this I would.” Pulling up a photo taken of Chowdhury’s home, she said, “You have got to get that cleaned up,” and ordered Chowdhury to pay a $100 fine by Feb. 1.
Shibbir asked Krot if she understood that his father was suffering from cancer. Krot answered his question with, “Have you seen that photo?” to which Shibbir responded, “Oh my God.”
Shibbir also told the judge that because of his father’s limited English speaking skills, he could not understand everything Krot said.
Shibbir told the Washington Post that he thought Krow’s ruling was “ridiculous.” He was especially concerned about her implying she would put his father in jail.
“You can’t give a 72-year-old person jail time for not cleaning an alley,” Shibbir said.
While Shibbir plans to help his father pay his fine, he said their home is “in good shape now and has been in the last few months.”
An online petition to remove Judge Krot from office has received over 72,000 signatures as of this writing. “The judge, Alexis G. Krot, shamed him, spoke over him, and told him he could not use cancer as an excuse. She has a history of being bigoted to immigrants,” the petition claims. We’re calling for action from the city of Hamtramck to remove Alexis Krot as a judge!”