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Judge Threatens To Put 72-Year-Old Cancer Patient In Jail For His Overgrown Property

Burhan Chowdhury, Judge Alexis Krot

A 72-year-old man in Hamtramck, Michigan named recently had to appear before a judge to answer for overgrowth on his property that had become unsightly and blocked part of a walkway.

Burhan Chowdhury’s son, Shibbir, also appeared on the call in order to explain the situation and his part in it to Judge Alexis G. Krot and their reactions have since gone viral as the hearing was shared online.

When asked why he hadn’t kept the weeds on his property in check, Burhan Chowdhury tried to explain his situation saying, “I am a cancer patient, very old ma’am.”

However, though this an understandable excuse to most people, the judge was unsatisfied with Chowdhury's explanation.

Judge Alexis G. Krot threatened to jail the elderly man, despite his cancer diagnosis.

In response to the plight of Chowdhury, Judge Krot responded with indignation and anger over their failure to maintain the weeds on their property.

After hearing Burhan’s breathless explanation that he had cancer and was unable to go out to deal with the overgrowth, Judge Krot said, “You should be ashamed of yourself,” and “If I could give you jail time on this, I would.”

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To clarify, for the crime of failing to keep up with the maintenance of his property because of cancer Judge Krot wanted to, and would have if she could have, thrown a sick, elderly man in jail.

Shibbir Chowdhury later expanded on his father’s explanation, saying that he has had lymph node cancer since 2019 and that Shibbir ordinarily helped his parents maintain their property in accordance with city ordinance.

Shibbir was out of the country in Bangladesh for a three month long period, during that time, Burhan Chowdhury’s property became overgrown. This situation would seem like an unfortunate combination of circumstances to most people and certainly one that warrants some sympathy.

Not so for Judge Alexis G. Krot, whose response to the plight of Chowdhury has many up in arms.

Shibbir was shocked and attempted to explain the situation to the judge again, saying, “Is it, ma’am, forgivable because my father is currently sick and we cleaned it after-” before being interrupted by Judge Krot, who said, “have you seen that photo?”

Judge Krot continued by saying “that is shameful.”

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Unable to give Burhan Chowdhury the jail time she admitted that she wanted to give him, Judge Krot settled for the $100 fine that the law allowed.

Shibbir Chowdhury has calmly responded to Judge Krot's behavior.

Naturally, Judge Krot’s behavior has caused many to question her. One of those people is Shibbir Chowdhury, who has gone on to talk about the experience of being on the call.

Shibbir has said of the experience, “it just felt very bad to me because as a son, nobody wants to hear about their father going to jail.”

Shibbir also said of Judge Krot, “it’s very rude, telling a cancer patient to go to jail.”

Shibbir’s responses have been very measured and calm, despite how distressing it must have been for him, especially at the moment. Shibbir's calm reactions only highlight the ridiculous and over-the-top behavior of Judge Krot.

And many others have since recognized the judge's lack of compassion. As the video of the hearing circulated online, many expressed outrage.

A petition calling for Judge Krot's removal has even been signed over 180,000 times.

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Dan O'Reilly is a writer who covers news, politics, and social justice. Follow him on Twitter.