Judge shames 72-year-old cancer patient for overgrown yard
HAMTRAMCK, Mich. (WDIV) - A Michigan judge is being criticized after she berated a 72-year-old cancer patient for not cleaning up his lawn.
The exchange between Judge Alexis Krot and 72-year-old defendant Burhan Chowdhury took place during a virtual court hearing related to failure to keep his property maintained in violation of a Hamtramck, Michigan, ordinance.
“The neighbors should not have to look at that,” Krot told the defendant. “You should be ashamed of yourself.”
The man’s son, Shibbir Chowdhury, appeared at the hearing alongside his father, who doesn’t speak much English. He explained that his father is a cancer patient who is undergoing chemotherapy, and that leaves him too weak to go out and clear overgrown plants.
During the hearing, the 72-year-old could be heard struggling to breathe when he tried to speak. But his illness didn’t appear to garner much sympathy from Krot.
“If I could give you jail time on this, I would,” she told the defendant.
Shibbir Chowdhury calls the judge’s comment “very rude.”
“Telling a cancer patient that he should go to jail,” he said. “It felt very bad to me because in this town, nobody wants to hear about their father going to jail.”
Shibbir Chowdhury admits the family violated the city ordinance. He says his dad was diagnosed with cancer in the lymph nodes in 2019, and treatments have taken a toll on his mobility. Since the diagnosis, the son and his mom have been trying to maintain the property.
“I usually take care of those stuff, the backyard and everything, but at that time, I was out of the country,” Shibbir Chowdhury said. “That was really a mistake. I should’ve taken care of that.”
The family says the property has already been cleaned up, and they plan to pay the $100 fine for violating the ordinance.
“It’s still like she should have told my father more politely,” Shibbir Chowdhury said. “We didn’t really expect this kind of behavior from a respectable person like a judge.”
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