Judge After Blowup at Cancer Patient: 'I'm Very Embarrassed'

Michigan's Alexis Krot apologizes amid calls for her removal
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 18, 2022 3:40 AM CST
Updated Jan 21, 2022 9:45 AM CST
Judge to Cancer Patient With Overgrown Yard: I'd Jail You If I Could
Stock photo, not the yard in question.   (Getty Images / Photos.com)

(Newser) Update: A Michigan judge has apologized to a 72-year-old cancer patient after telling him that she would have liked to jail him for his overgrown lawn. "I made a mistake. I acted intemperately. I'm very embarrassed that I did so," Hamtramck Judge Alexis Krot said of her remarks in Jan. 10 hearing, per the Detroit Free Press. "I apologize to the person who appeared before me and to our entire community for having failed to meet the high standards that we expect of our judicial officers, and that I expect of myself." A petition calling for her removal is among the most popular on Change.org, with more than 231,000 signatures. Our original story from Tuesday follows:

A Michigan judge came under fire after harshly lecturing a 72-year-old man with cancer over the state of his yard. Burhan Chowdhury attended the virtual hearing after violating a city ordinance related to lawn maintenance, NBC 12 reports. "The neighbors should not have to look at that,” Judge Alexis Krot told Chowdhury, who is in poor health and struggled to breathe at times while speaking. “You should be ashamed of yourself.” Krot added that if she could give him jail time over the violation, she would. The man's son explained to the judge that his father is undergoing chemotherapy and is too weak to deal with the yard, and that while he normally handles the property maintenance for his father, he was out of the country at the time.

The son admitted it was a "mistake" to have not taken care of the yard, and says the yard has already been cleaned up and the family has no issue paying the $100 fine—but even so, the judge was "very rude" to tell someone with cancer they should be jailed over the issue. Nearly 200,000 people have since signed an online petition calling for Krot to be removed as a judge, and ClickOn Detroit reports video of the hearing has been widely shared (and criticized) on social media. Krot told Fox 2 Detroit she'd like to comment on the issue, but the state judge administrator has instructed her not to. (Read more Michigan stories.)

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