Judge shocked after Black man attends Zoom court hearing for suspended license while driving

Screenshot taken from the video posted on Judge Simpson’s YouTube Channel

A Black man stunned a judge and court attendees in Ann Arbor Michigan, by joining a Zoom court hearing for driving with a suspended license while driving his car.

Driving irony: Corey Harris, the defendant, attended his May 14 Zoom court hearing from behind the wheel, despite being charged with driving with a suspended license.

  • Harris joined the hearing while driving and informed Judge Cedric Simpson he was parking at a doctor’s office.
  • Judge Cedric Simpson — who is also Black — dropped his pen and rested his head in his hand, visibly stunned.

Courtroom reactions: The courtroom was filled with mixed reactions, with some attendees trying to stifle their laughter.

  • The two-and-a-half-minute Zoom call was posted on YouTube, attracting attention and comments about the judge’s and the defendant’s expressions.

Judge’s reaction: Judge Simpson highlighted the absurdity of the situation.

  • “OK, so maybe I don’t understand something,” Judge Simpson remarked. “This is a driving with a licence suspended — and he was just driving. And he doesn’t have a license.”
  • Simpson revoked Harris’s bond and ordered him to surrender to the Washtenaw County jail by 6 p.m. that evening.

Legal consequences: Harris’s public defender requested a four-week adjournment, but the judge denied it.

  • “Failure to turn himself in will result in a bench warrant with no bond,” Simpson warned.

Update: On June 6th, it was revealed that the Black man—identified as 44-year-old Corey Harris—was actually the victim of a clerical error by the state of Michigan, and his license shouldn’t have been suspended.

  • According to reports, Harris’ driver’s license had originally been suspended in 2010 for unpaid child support payments.
  • That suspension was officially rescinded by a court in 2022, but due to a bureaucratic hiccup within the Michigan Secretary of State’s Office, the lifting of his suspension was never finalized.
  • Harris reportedly spent the next two days in jail following the viral clip that showed him driving a vehicle during his Zoom court hearing.
  • “Always double-check behind these workers because they will say that they will do something, and they don’t do it,” he added.

Update 6/6/24: In another wild twist, Corey Harris has once again been arrested over an issue with his suspended driver’s license. Court officials now claim Harris never had a driver’s license, and had potentially been driving dirty for decades.

To make things worse, the Michigan court system and DMV never bothered to check their records.

  • Black Washtenaw County Judge J. Cedric Simpson said Wednesday that after peering through court documents and state records, Harris never had a valid driver’s license.
  • The judge also discovered that Harris did have an outstanding warrant for driving with a suspended license.
  • “Let me make it very clear, based on what the court looked at  — [Harris] has never had a Michigan license. Ever,” Simpson said. “And he has never had a license in the other 49 states and commonwealths that form up this great union. He has never had a license.”

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