Michigan judge is all of us who can’t believe a driver showed up to virtual court on a suspended license

OPINION: A Michigan man with a suspended driver’s license joined a virtual court hearing … while driving. Everybody was in disbelief.

Judge J. Cedric Simpson and Corey Harris. (Screenshot via YouTube)

Editor’s note: The following article is an op-ed, and the views expressed are the author’s own. Read more opinions on theGrio.

You know how everybody has some kinda sorta unbelievable story that you hope is true but you need proof before you buy in fully? Of course, you do. For instance, Oprah Winfrey called me one day after reading an article I wrote about the show “Queen Sugar.” Thankfully, I didn’t answer the phone (this is all in my bio) and she left a voicemail. That voicemail (that I will never ever erase) is living proof that crazy stuff does indeed happen and that sometimes you just had to be there. If I didn’t have the voicemail, nobody would actually believe that Oprah called me. Sure, people may want to give me the benefit of the doubt, but Oprah calling seems so out of the ordinary that I’m not sure I would have believed me without the voicemail. Again, I have proof. 

Unlike everybody who swears they went to school with a set of twins named Orangejello and Lemonjello. I know people in real life who have told me this, and I’ve seen it on social media. I’m still waiting for the yearbook pictures, ya dig? Same with La-a (pronounced LaDasha). Everybody seems to know them — nobody has ever met them. 

My long-winded point is that sometimes you really need to see the proof to believe some of the outlandish things people say or do. Like, if I told you a dude with a suspended license showed up to VIRTUAL court WHILE DRIVING, and the judge was so annoyed he sent that man to jail, you’d probably be like, “Cool story, bro.” Thankfully, you don’t have to believe me because Corey Harris from Michigan did just that. And Judge J. Cedric Simpson (that’s quite a name) sent that man to jail. But let’s tell the story. 

Aight, so boom. 

Judge Simpson — the homie — is just out here doing his job, whoopty whoop. Brotha Harris hops on the virtual court Zoom, and the judge is like, “Bro,  you driving?” (There will be some paraphrasing here.)

Brotha Harris is like, “Actually judge, I’m about to park the jalopy at my doctor’s office — good health or no health, ya know?!? Gang gang.” 

As SOON as Brotha Harris said that, Judge Simpson had that look on his face that said two words and two words only, “This dummy!” Fred J. Sanford would’ve been so proud. The judge even tosses his pen in disbelief. I feel him, too. That man probably thought about all of the money he could be making in somebody’s private firm but here is, in Ann Arbor, Michigan, dealing Brotha Harris over here who either don’t know, don’t show or just doesn’t care about why he’s in court today

Let’s keep going.

The judge, incredulously, is like, “This driver has a suspended license, right? But he was just driving. I don’t even know why he would do that?” 

What he WANTED to say was the kind of thing I can’t type here because this is a family site, but just know, Judge Simpson, that I feel you, bro. I feel you. The funny part is when you can tell Brotha Harris came to the realization that he had just screwed the pooch. He didn’t even know what to say and he looked like a man with a lot to say; he already overshared about pulling up to the doctor’s office. But there he was gobsmacked into silence because, well, WHY WOULD YOU DO SOMETHING SO STUPID?

To be fair to Mr. Harris, he is not the first nor will he be the last person to make a boneheaded mistake that requires jail time. He has, though, gone viral for HIS boneheaded mistake, which honestly, is less about him and more about Judge Simpson’s reactions and inability to believe what he has to deal with. Judge Simpson joins a list of judges who see shenanigans and somebody happens to be recording. 

For the record, Brotha Harris was required to turn himself in by 6 p.m. that day. I hope Judge Simpson’s day improved. I also hope he gets himself a judge show or two because the way he threw that pen and asked “Why would he even do that?” lets me know he’s made for Hollywood. 

But most importantly, Judge Simpson is all of us who just cannot believe that this fool showed up in virtual court driving when driving with a suspended license is one of the charges on his file. 

Whew, chile. 

Panama Jackson theGrio.com

Panama Jackson is a columnist at theGrio and host of the award-winning podcast, “Dear Culture” on theGrio Black Podcast Network. He writes very Black things, drinks very brown liquors, and is pretty fly for a light guy. His biggest accomplishment to date coincides with his Blackest accomplishment to date in that he received a phone call from Oprah Winfrey after she read one of his pieces (biggest) but he didn’t answer the phone because the caller ID said “Unknown” (Blackest).