By Darling Gonzalez
RIVERSIDE, CA – During a bench court trial in Dept. 1B for a traffic citation this Friday in Riverside County Court House, an angry man’s defense claim that he was being mistreated because “I’m Mexican” led the judge to yell at him to stop talking.
The first person called to testify about the events of the traffic stop was an officer for the County of Riverside Police Dept. (the name was unintelligible in the recording).
The officer stated that he had responded to a call about reckless driving on the freeway which had led him to stop two cars.
One of the cars had been the defendant, “John Doe,” who had been waving down the police officer, and the other car had an unidentified subject. (NOTE: The Vanguard policy is usually not identify the accused in non-felony court cases).
The officer explained that when he stopped John Doe he noticed John Doe was not wearing a seatbelt and, once he was pulled over, he confirmed that John Doe was, in fact, not wearing a seatbelt.
When the officer asked for proof of insurance from John Doe the driver could not provide proof of insurance, leading to the two citations for not wearing a seatbelt and an insurance violation.
When Judge Elizabeth Tucker asked the defendant if he had anything to say about the claims of the officer, John Doe began to explain the reasons behind not wearing a seatbelt, explaining he had called the police about a person on the freeway that had pointed a gun at him.
The other person in question was the same person that had also been stopped by the officer on the freeway.
John Doe claimed that the officer had treated the whole situation unfairly and stated that it was because of his race that he had been treated differently “because I’m Mexican.
“I explained to him, dude I took my seatbelt off, I was trying to wave you down, like how am I… what am I supposed to do for you guys to help me,” the driver said.
John Doe also began to explain his mindset before the traffic stop and events prior.
“(T)his guy [the other person stopped by the officer] pulled a gun on me, right before [this incident] I had [another] police officer pull me over and he pulled a gun on me too. So what do you think I’m thinking over here you know?” he said.
With a frustrated tone, John Doe explained, “I call on the phone, this guy has a gun, and he (the officer) just lets him go.”
John Doe continued to say, “This guy is over here waving a gun in the freeway. You see it in the news all the time. People get shot in the freeway. This guy [the police officer] is supposed to be protecting us and he didn’t even do his job….”
John Doe was abruptly cut off by Judge Tucker, who yelled, “Stop. Stop. Sir. I’m going to end your (hearing) if you don’t stop talking about irrelevant information.”
Judge Tucker, then, asked John Doe if he had proof that he had car insurance on the date of the citation, for which John Doe said he did and that he had already brought it in.
“No, you didn’t,” said Judge Tucker.
“Yes, I did,” replied John Doe.
Judge Tucker explained that his count was still active and asked him if he had the proof of insurance at that moment and John Doe said he did not.
Judge Tucker then proceeded by finding John Doe in violation of not wearing his seatbelt and having no proof of insurance, resulting in a fine of $1,164.
As Judge Tucker explained the payment options, John Doe stated, “I don’t have no money.”
Judge Tucker replied by referring him to a financial evaluation from the enhanced collections office.
“That’s fine, we’re done here right? We’re good?” “We’re good.” said John Doe.
To that Judge Tucker stated, “Yes sir, thank you.”