This morning I dropped Xuân off at the daycare a bit early then headed to the Mason library to pick up a few books. I needed something to read while waiting for a court hearing for a red light violation. I made a right turn on red and was caught on camera. I determined to fight back because I did not do anything wrong. I was allowed to turn on red.

I arrived at the courtroom at 9 AM and started to read. At 9:30 AM, a police made an announcement and told us to turn off our cellphone. There were about 100 people in the courtroom. I knew it would take a while until my turn; therefore, I just sat back and read. I didn’t want to listen to anyone else’s business, but then a police asked me if what I was reading related to my case. If not, I had to put it away. What the fuck? I couldn’t even read? When I told my wife that she said why didn’t I challenge him for my rights. Challenging a cop? Was she kidding me? Two reasons I didn’t want to challenge the cop. I didn’t want to get dragged the fuck out of the courtroom or worse getting fucking shot in the courtroom. I don’t fuck with the cops. I could not use my cellphone and I could not read so I picked up my notepad and a pen to write this blog. If he was to approach me again, I would have said yes I was writing about my goddamn case.

Two hours went by and about a third of the courtroom had emptied, it came our turn—those of us who violated the red light. An elderly woman was called first. She pleaded not guilty. The judge ordered to turn on the video. She slowed down, but did not come to a complete stop. It was the same location that I was caught. The judged found her guilty. She shot back about how the language on the citation accused her being disrespected to the law. The cop came up and escorted her out. Five more people found guilty after the tape was rolled. At that point I knew I had no chance so I pleaded no contest. The judged asked me, “You don’t want to see the video?” I replied, “No, your honor. I think I have seen enough.” She laughed and issued me a ticket.

I should have paid the damn fine and not wasted my two hours sitting in court. I honestly did not know that I have to come to a complete stop on the red light before making a turn. Like Biggie said, “If you don’t know now you know. Nigga!” A fucking lesson learned.