A Michigan judge fined and ridiculed a 72-year-old man battling lymphoma, saying in his ruling that the man “should be ashamed” that he is too weak to mow his overgrown lawn.
Burhan Chowdhury of Hamtramck, an area about six miles north of Detroit said he fell behind on his yard maintenance following his 2019 diagnosis with cancer of the lymph nodes.
Footage of the January 10 Zoom court hearing has gone viral in which Chowdhury’s breathing appeared difficult as Judge Alexis G. Krot of the 31st District Court hammered him. “You should be ashamed of yourself,” says Krot in the video that was shared to social media on January 12. “If I could give you jail time on this, I would.” The video had been viewed over 37,500 times as of Thursday.
Krot continued after ordering Chowdhury to pay a $100 fine for the state of his yard, “You’ve got to get that cleaned up. That is totally inappropriate.”
The man’s son, 33-year-old Shibbir, was present at the hearing and vouched for the fact that his father’s cancer treatments had left him very week, preventing him from mowing the lawn lately.
Shibbir added that he helped his father around the house for years, but he had been in Bangladesh for three months before Chowdhury’s citation on August 2. Krot responded harshly, displaying an image of the yard, “Do you see that photo? That is shameful. Shameful. The neighbors should not have to look at that.”
As of Tuesday, nearly 10,000 social media watchdogs signed a petition on Change.org to demand that Krot be removed from her position, alleging that “She has a history of being bigoted to immigrants.”
Shibbir acknowledge the “mistakes” that led his family to violate a city ordinance, but he also noted, “She was telling my father, a sick person, that he should go to jail. That’s ridiculous. You can’t give a 72-year-old person jail time for not cleaning an alley. I was really shocked by it. I didn’t expect her to yell at us in this kind of a situation.”
On Wednesday, Shibbir paid his father’s fine while he also received support from those who saw the video of the public hearing.
ARTICLE: ELIZABETH HERTZBERG
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: NEW YORK POST