A Michigan judge apologized after threatening an elderly man with cancer due to the state of his front yard. Her behavior was captured on Zoom and went viral on social media.
Alexis Krot, a Michigan judge, apologized after threatening an elderly cancer patient with jail time due to some unruly weeds in his front yard. “I made a mistake,” Krot said in a statement. She’s also reported herself to a state commission that probes judicial misbehavior.
Krot’s comments occurred in a court hearing via Zoom call, which then spread through social media. The clip shows Judge Krot telling a visibly sick man that he “should be ashamed” of the state of his house. “If I could give you jail time on this, I would,” she said, threatening him with jail a second time when the meeting was ending. “If you come back here, you’re going to jail.”
View this post on Instagram
The man, whose name is Burhan Chowdhury, was visibly struggling to breathe. “I am a cancer patient, very old, ma’am,” he said. His son also interjected to explain the health of his father.
Aside from calling the judge unprofessional and rude, many people viewed her comments as racist, purposefully intimidating a sick man whose first language is not English.
“When I was a child I would go to interpret for my parents and I would get so intimidated by the judge that I wouldn’t even be able to interpret or translate for my parents,” said Rebeka Islam to USA Today. She is a resident of Hamtramck, the area where Chowdry lives, and the executive director of the civic engagement group APIA Vote-MI.
“I made a mistake,” Judge Alexis G. Krot said in a statement on Thursday. “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.”
Her apology follows a Change.org petition that has over 230,000 signatures, asking for Krot to be removed from Michigan state court.