Judge blasts 72-year-old cancer patient for overgrown lawn: 'If I could give you jail time on this I would'

·2 min read

A Michigan judge fined and ridiculed a 72-year-old man with cancer for not being able to mow his lawn.

Burhan Chowdhury appeared in virtual court on Jan. 10 for a ticket he received in August for failing to maintain his front yard. Chowdhury explained that he is a cancer patient and is "very weak," so he cannot maintain the yard. The Washington Post reported Chowdhury has been battling cancer for the past three years.

But Chowdhury got zero sympathy from Judge Alexis G. Krot of the 31st District Court. The court video has now gone viral on social media.

"You should be ashamed of yourself. If I could give you jail time on this I would," Krot said. "You better get that cleaned up. That is totally inappropriate."

When Chowdbury's son, Shibbir, tried to explain that his father can't clean the yard, Krot responded "that is shameful. Shameful. The neighbors should not have to look at that." The judge also fined Chowdbury $100.

Shibbir Chowdhury told WDIV that since his father was diagnosed with lymphoma in 2019, he and his mother have been maintaining the property. Shibbir Chowdhury was out of the country last summer when his father was given the ticket.

Related video: Zoom hearing adjourned after defendant found in same place as plaintiff

The son admitted fault for the property's condition, but was still shocked by how Krot reacted. He said that he plans to pay the $100 fine and that the lawn is now in good shape.

"The way she said that my father should serve jail time for this thing really bugged me," Shibbir Chowdhury told The Washington Post. "I didn’t expect her to yell at us in this kind of a situation."

Krot did not return a request for comment from WDIV; the outlet reported that her role as a judge prevents her from commenting on cases. But more than 200,000 people have signed an online petition to remove Krot from her position, and social media users have criticized her for her comments. She has been in her seat since 2016, and won reelection in 2020 after running unopposed, according to Ballotpedia.

Shibbir Chowdhury said the outpouring of support shows people understand his family's situation, and he's thankful for those "beside us."

Follow Jordan Mendoza on Twitter: @jordan_mendoza5.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Judge blasts cancer patient for overgrown Michigan lawn in viral video