Respect Equality

Michigan judge apologizes for threatening cancer patient with jail time over overgrown weeds

Story at a glance

  • A court hearing captured on Zoom last week appears to show Krot berating 72-year-old Burhan Chowdhury due to a ticket he received for the unkempt weeds.
  • “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,” Krot said.
  • Krot previously threatened him with jail time over the overgrown vegetation.

A Michigan judge has apologized and submitted her conduct for review after a widely circulated video of her reprimanding and threatening jail time to an elderly cancer patient for overgrown weeds drew widespread condemnation.  

“I made a mistake,” Judge Alexis Krot said in a statement shared with the Detroit Free Press. “I acted intemperately. I’m very embarrassed that I did so.”  

“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 court hearing captured on Zoom last week appears to show Krot berating 72-year-old Burhan Chowdhury due to a ticket he received for the unkempt weeds on his property in August.  

“You should be ashamed of yourself,” Krot told Chowdhury during the hearing. “If I could give you jail time on this, I would,” she said before threatening him with jail a second time later in the hearing. 

Chowdhury, who seemed to have difficulty breathing, explained to Krot that he was “very weak” and struggled to keep up with the overgrown vegetation.  

“Did you see that photo? That is shameful, shameful. The neighbors should not have to look at that,” Krot continued, commenting on the photo of the overgrowth. 

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A Change.org petition to remove Krot from the bench has surpassed 232,000 signatures as of Friday morning.  

Krot said that she self-reported her action to the judicial tenure commission, which probes judicial conduct. 

“I had no legal duty to report myself to the commission,” Krot continued in her apology. “But I did so because, like apologizing to the community, it was the right thing to do. I will continue to hold myself to the standards I set for others.” 


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