Ewing to cops: “I will sue you!”

On the evening of Friday, November 27, 2009 — the day after Thanksgiving and a few hours after the Nebraska Cornhuskers had beaten the Colorado Buffaloes up in Boulder — Douglas County Treasurer John Ewing, now a Democrat candidate for Congress in Nebraska’s 2nd District, had a confrontation with Aurora, Colorado Police officers.

The confrontation culminated in Ewing yelling that he would sue the police officer and then being issued a ticket for Disorderly Conduct and a Failure to Obey a Lawful Order.

This story was recounted in the OWH last week, but Leavenworth Street now has the full Offense Report, where you can read for yourself how the officers viewed the situation, and how they observed Ewing’s words and actions.

See it here:

John Ewing Jr – Aurora CO Offense Report

(Note that we redacted the address and date of birth of Ewing’s sister — though this is a completely public document.)

To recap, Ewing’s sister was driving an SUV, which Ewing said also had his wife, daughters and mother as passengers, near her home around 8pm. A marked Aurora police cruiser passed her and noticed her headlight out, turned their lights on and turned around to stop her. She did not stop, instead turned a corner, then finally came to a stop in front of her house.

She then got out of her car and approached the cops, yelling at them.

At this point…

JOHN EWING Jr DOB 04-18-61, came out of the front door of the house. EWING Jr stood approximately 25 feet away at the bottom of the stairs and started to yell at me from my left side as I was trying to give (Ewing’s sister) orders to get back in her car on my right.

I gave him lawful orders to go back in the house. EWING Jr refused and stated, “No I don’t have to.” He walked a couple steps closer and continued to yell.

Note that Ewing told the OWH that officer Stenersen who wrote this report was, “out of control”.

From the OWH:

Ewing — a former deputy chief of police — said he was trying to calm the situation down.

Continuing from the Aurora Police report:

EWING Jr was ordered to go back in the house at least 5 times (even twice by Officer Salberg), each time he refused. EWING Jr was told if he didn’t go back inside he would be arrested. EWING Jr stated, “No I won’t because I will sue you!” Instead of obeying my lawful orders he kept yelling back into the house for more people to come outside and kept yelling at us.

Note that Ewing told the OWH that regarding this statement, in officer Stenersen’s report,

“That’s an absolute lie,” said Ewing. “Everyone in the house was already outside.”

So Ewing is essentially accusing Stenersen of filing a false incident report.

Of course Stenersen filed this report the evening of the incident. And Ewing is responding to it nearly two years later.

At one point there were at least 5 people on the porch yelling at us as we tried to gain compliance.

As I was issuing EWING Jr his summons he stated he was a retired police officer, and that I should give him “more respect” because of this.

Now Ewing states that he was concerned about the women in the car, and we have no doubt he was telling the truth about that.

But consider the police in this situation:

In the dark, they signal a car to pull over for a minor infraction. The car does not stop, instead turns a corner goes another fifty yards, then stops and someone gets out of the car and starts yelling. Then a man comes out of a house right there and starts yelling, along with four other people, at the police.

And Stenersen was “out of control”?

And then Ewing demands “more respect”?

The Sergeant who showed up later also reported…

John was upset over the way officer Stenersen talked to him. He said that he beleived he had every right to come outside and observe what was going on. I explained to John that he did have that right but that it was an officer safety concern on the officers part because (Ewing’s sister) should have pulled over for officers way before her residence.

John stated that he didn’t like the tone of Stenersen’s voice when he told him to go back inside the residence.

The OWH:

Ewing said he believes the police officer handled the situation poorly.

Hey look we were not there. We are just reading a police report.

Ewing told the OWH that he was just concerned about his family in the car. But we find out that his real beef was that the cop on the scene didn’t use the right tone with him — after he got done yelling at them during a traffic stop.

Well, that’s more of the story for you.


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  1. Great Balls of Fire says:

    Wow, Just Wow. A former cop of all people should know to obey the orders of a police officer. This was a freaking broken headlight, and Ewing and his sister pull the race card and incite a riot.

  2. citizencorn says:

    Voters will decide about Ewing being a Congressman. But the entire incident described is a sad indication of how Black Americans embrace racism like no one else even cares to.

    When tempers flare, whites don’t feel like they own slaves. Most whites don’t even see blacks every day. And when they do, they fear laws that double penalties on whites if they even appear to hate blacks. So whites automatically go defensive. Yet modern blacks, who didn’t suffer slavery and didn’t march in Selma, nevertheless when angry assume a racist aggression that defines them as being black. Being black today is about unbridled aggression, a loud embracing of a feeling of victimhood as seeming justification and license to disregard and even attack legal authority.

    When he calmed down, Ewing then demanded he be respected not as black but as a retired police officer, and his sister suddenly remembered her life was saved by the police, with her then adding the racist irrelevancy that her father “was white”. Yet when first confronted by the legal authorities, both Ewing and his sister exhibited the unrestrained kneejerk aggression of something akin to adolescent angst transmuted into one being “black”. They both repeatedly and aggressively approached the police, as if to dare the police to draw their weapons. And Ewing himself, in particular, actually stated that he doesn’t have to do what police tell him to do. He doesn’t have to obey the law.

    Who of us is above the law? When the law punishes whites double for hating blacks but gives blacks license to posture against legal authority, while that is unfair to whites, it is far more damaging to black Americans as it encourages them to behave like something less than responsible citizens.

    Being in a long term racially mixed relationship, I don’t give a crap about color. But I do care about laws that hurt people, and affirmation action laws that reinforce the idea they one color of people have special license to act like aggressive violent babies when the crap hits the fan, that hurts everyone.

    If Ewing was white, black or green, or a Democrat or a Republican, he’d still be unfit to have anything to do with the law, because, as he told the police, he doesn’t have to obey law. Yet Congress is about making laws. Or, perhaps Ewing meant he doesn’t have to obey white people in authority. If that is the case, then Ewing is simply a racist, bigoted craphead. Either way, he proved cannot control his mouth under stress, which makes him particularly unfit for a role in Congress.

  3. Been there, But I'm white. says:

    It looks like the Aurora Police Department could use some training in handeling routine trafic stops. They could have difused the situation early by extending a minimum of courtesy. It wouldn’t have taken much effort on the part of the officer to simply inform Ms. Ewing-Nettles that he’d stopped her because she had a head light out. Instead, he chose to show his power and allowed the situation to escalate.

    I have been stopped by law enforcement many times for various reasons in the past . In each case the officer informed me why I was being stopped. The officer who stopped Ms. Ewing-Nettles had no legitimate reason not to inform her of the situation. There is a long history of law enforcement targeting minorities for traffic stops. It should be routine policy to inform any driver why they are being stopped. Allowing the situation to escalate, as it did here, is an abuse of power.

    There may be no excuse for the reaction of Mr. Ewing or Ms. Ewing-Nettles, but the fact remains that the Aurora Police showed very bad judgement in the way they handled the situation.

  4. Just Sayin says:

    citizen corn: “Most whites don’t even see blacks every day.” How can you live in Omaha and not be a part of the rich mix of Omahans in the 21st century? In just the schools alone, we have black principals, custodians, kitchen workers, secretaries, security guards and teachers. Whenever I am at the movies or a concert or participate in a run or attend a festival, I am with the world. Omaha is the world.

    And notwithstanding the police report, I think Democrats should stick with Ewing. Opposition Research will find something on anyone who looks like he might be his own man.

    I know that were lies told about the first congressional candidate last year because it became clear as time went on that Harper was asking for information about Nelnet, and so she was perceived as a threat.

    And the police are not perfect, as no one is. Ewing knew that, and these were his loved ones. Cut him a break. We need people with fire in their bellies who have made a few mistakes and learned from them. Otherwise, the only candidates left standing are the tools who look good on the outside and maybe even have an issue or two that they believe in authentically. But essentially, they are bought and paid for by Corporate America.

  5. Kortezzi says:

    To Been There @ 910 a.m.

    Why do you say the Aurora cop refused to tell Ms. Ewing-Nettles why he pulled her over as if that was an established fact? Did she give him a chance to do so? Remember, she kept driving after the cop turned his flashing lights on and signaled her to pull over. And after she got to the house, rather than remain in the car and talk to him, she exited the car to yell at the officer that she’d been pulled over for “driving while black”?

    I’m sure Barack Obama would agree that the Aurora Police Department officer acted stupidly, just like in Cambridge MA.

    This incident sheds a lot of light on the inner core of John Ewing Jr, and the agenda he’d bring with him to DC if he gets elected.

  6. NE Voter says:

    I’d like to know how the OW-H got the story (of course it was not reported). My list of likely suspects include Douglas County Sheriff Tim Dunning.

  7. ttg says:

    9:10am. You haven’t “been there” unless you stood in the officers’ shoes, and you didn’t.

    You say there “may be” no excuse for Ewing’s behavior yet you are dead certain the police abused power by telling aggressive, shouting people to step back. Ex-cop Ewing actually said he doesn’t have to obey legal authorities. That is fuzzy for you, yet you solidly condemn the police.

    Asswits like you are the reason why candidates who say law doesn’t apply to them, nevertheless end up getting elected. When they then later abuse elective power, only the asswits are surprised.

  8. Anonymous says:

    The unintelligencia seems to twists thier sphincters into knots as they attempt to convince us that Ewing the cop really doesn’t have to obey law.

    Score one for the ol’ Sweeper.

  9. Watching says:

    Lost in this post is one other issue: why didn’t John show up for the Court date on this citation? His failure to do so led the judge to issue a bench warrant for his arrest. It wasn’t cleared up by John until this past July–. Why?

  10. anonymous says:

    I don’t think this shows anything other than Ewing showing a lack of tact when dealing with a bulldog police officer (kinda reminds me of the line from the movie Rambo when Colonel Troutman says to Brian Dennehy’s character [paraphrasing] “you want to kill Rambo, great, I can just see his epitaph at Arlington, here lies an American hero killed for loitering in jerkwater USA” since it also doesn’t reflect well on skills of the Aurora, CO police in handling a traffic stop) Ewing had every right to be outside to observe. If he yelled, “I’m gonna sue you” or “come on out” these statements would should (a) the situation was emotionally charged as he was legitimately concerned about his family as any husband, father, brother would be; and (b) show he demonstrated a lack of tact in an emotionally charged situation himself which his police training and experiences should have told him to defuse and de-esculate rather than inflame and escalate.
    However, this also reminds me of the current Congressman’s occasional dust ups we have seen in the news with his profanity-laced public outbursts and fights (ala Jesse Jackson, Jr., etc). Also, one cannot rule out the possibility that this may have also involved an overly aggressive cop who was on the verge of “go’n rogue” to paraphrase the nomenclature of one popular lady of late.

  11. Anonymous says:

    ..and this little juicy tidbit would affect my life how?. Terry still sits at the kiddie table and has a record as well only his is doing squat in Congress all these many years.

  12. anon2 says:

    “It looks like the Aurora Police Department could use some training in handeling routine trafic stops. They could have difused the situation early by extending a minimum of courtesy. It wouldn’t have taken much effort on the part of the officer to simply inform Ms. Ewing-Nettles that he’d stopped her because she had a head light out. Instead, he chose to show his power and allowed the situation to escalate.”

    This. Plus, Ewing has every right to stand on the lawn and shout. Sure it might have been polite for him to stand quietly or to return inside the house, but it is NOT ILLEGAL to stand on the lawn and shout. Even if he was shouting something unpleasant.

    Believe it or not, we don’t have to obey everything a police officer tells us to do.

  13. NE politico says:

    It’s both entertaining and predictable to see the various attempts at justifying Ewing’s actions (blame the cops, Aurora is a racist place, it’s not illegal to shout, etc, etc). He is running for Congress people. This police report and the accompanying attention seriously hamper his campaign before he even gets started. The attempts to justify Ewing’s actions are music to Lee Terry’s ears…Terry might even donate to Ewing’s campaign to allow Ewing some airtime to ‘splain himself!

  14. Oh Mander says:

    Rough start. Regardless of who is right/wrong, this is not going to help his campaign. Chalk an early one up for Gwen Howard.

  15. Occupy Omaha says:

    Our meeting at McFosters was very successful. Not only did we plan how to stop corporate greed, capitalism, sexism and transgressions against transgender rights, we also had a delicious bean curd salad that converted some of the participants to explore a Vegan diet. I tell you my friends, Saturday Omahans will not be prepared for what they will see at our protest.

  16. Omaha Democrat says:

    I was wondering which of our elected leaders are going to be at the rally Saturday? I hope Gwen Howard and Heath Melo will be there

  17. Don Kuhns says:

    The supervisor admitted John Ewing had a legal right to observe what was happening from a distance. The officer’s order that he should go inside was unlawful, but perhaps understandable given the situation. Crystal was smart to drive drive to her house so that she would have witnesses, dumb to get out of her car and stay out when ordered back in. John Ewing knew his rights and did nothing wrong here, except that he should have told his sister to calm down and comply, not knowing the full situation.

  18. Ted says:

    Don Kuhns.
    Good to see what a complete idiot you are.
    “Smart to drive drive to her house so that she would have witnesses”?
    There were at least 3 other people in the car already, Sherlock.
    And witnesses to what? A warning about having a headlight out?
    Ewing escalated a simple traffic stop into a potentially dangerous situation for the police officers.
    He showed horrible judgement and should have known better as a former cop.
    Also, as a former cop, his self-serving attacks on the Aurora police after the fact are disgusting.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Anon 10:43, well al least we know Tommy White is still reading the blog…… you lost get over yourself.

    Some have pointed you that one issue here is JE knew, and as a former police officer, he was to show up in court but elected to not do so. It was only when he wanted to run for office he “discovered” he had a bench warrant out for his arrest. Question I have is do police officers routinely IGNORE their summons and tickets etc? How surprised would he have been if he were pulled over in CO and then taken to jail?

    JE had the opportunity, like every other citizen and most illegals, to plead his case in court. Instead he CHOSE to ignore the citation. AS a police officer he knew the consequence, and that is that.

    Again great to see Tommy has the time on his hands to check up on what Elected people are doing:) Lucky for you Tommy you didn’t get elected as you obviously are still fixated on Congressman Terry.

  20. Mary Jayne Fields says:

    Oh I love a good protest. Where is the preparty going to be? Don’t invite that Astroturfer, Jane Kleeb to the event. She will hog the camera and try to take credit for everything that happens at the protest.

  21. Macdaddy says:

    This whole incident will propel Mr. Ewing to victory in the primary. I bet his campaign leaked it to establish his bona fides as a liberal. Gwen Howard will have a hard time topping this.

  22. Watching says:

    Mac–I don’t know if the Ewing arrest and warrant will play a big role in the primary, but I think the more important thing is that Howard is very pro-choice while Ewing is pro-life. That is a big advantage to Howard if she uses that issue, as I bet she does.

  23. Some Thoughts says:

    Could someone please spell out for me what Ewing did WRONG in this scenario? He absolutely has the right to stand outside of the house in that situation and observe what the officers are doing, period. Does anyone doubt this? And I’m sorry, but if my family was black and they were in that car, I would DEFINITELY not obey the officer’s illegal order to go back in the house. And neither would any of you, if you are honest with yourselves. That’s reality. You don’t have to like it, but there it is.

  24. Watching says:

    Some thoughts: why did Ewing plead guilty?

    And why didn’t he show up in Court back in 2010, leading to a bench warrant being issued for his arrest?

  25. Watching says:

    Some Thoughts: Also, an individual might have the right to observe a police officer’s arrest, but I wonder if an individual has the right to stand outside within feet of the officer to do so–please cite the case if you know it. Also, “observing” and “inciting” are different things. Clearly, the officer felt threatened by Ewing (“He (Ewing) kept yelling back into the house for more people to come outside…”).

    What do youy make of Ewing’s statement to the officer that he was a retired police officer “and should be given more respect because of that”. Was he trying to get favorable treatment?

  26. Lizzie says:

    To: Occupy Omaha October 10, 2011 at 12:26 PM

    Thank you very much, I am feeling very enlightened right now. However, I know that you meant to say it thus:

    “Our meeting at McFosters was very successful. Not only did we plan how to stop corporate greed (echo: “corporate greed”), capitalism (echo: “capitalism”) sexism (echo: “sexism”) and transgressions against transgender rights (ohhhh, no one echoed!), we also had a delicious bean curd salad that converted some of the participants to explore a Vegan diet. I tell you my friends, Saturday Omahans will not be prepared for what they will see at our protest.”

  27. Anonymous says:

    If this had been a Republican we would all have been inundated by the OWH and other rags like it, on the horrors of such behavior. If it had been any of the Congressmen it would have made national news. But since it is a D it is of little interest.

  28. Dan Brown says:

    OWH is sure giving extra favorable treatment to Ewing. Obviously they don’t want anyone to read the story. Wag the dog, that’s how they roll!

  29. ssismyhero says:

    Bravo. You threw this info out flat on the floor, knowing Ewing is guilty not of some speeding ticket but rather of an arrogant, angry, un-Congressional-ish lack of self-control. And sure enough, all the little donkeys come a runnin’ to your bait, eager to tie themselves into knots trying to justify the innocence of the Ewing who already told the court he is guilty.

    What do they this game? Fishing for Idiots?

  30. Anonymous says:

    Typical liberal, angry because they gotta work democrats. Actually I shouldn’t lump good Democrats into the same cesspool as Liberals. There are many great Americans who are staunch Democrats. Funny how some would have you believe the Tea Party is extremist, but never heard of Tea Party folk taking a dump on police cars, or trashing up parks and shutting down business’. I bet if they could the liberal party along with the greens would split from the democrat party. Maybe we should all get behind the concept and help BTO kick the Libs out of the Democrat party and get the country back on track.

    BTO- how can we help you get your party back? Maybe have a few rhinos cross over for your convention and the primary? Shouldn’t take too many. Would be like how the Ron Paul peeps did it a few years ago. Just register and descend on a few county party groups, even form some in some counties, get a few voting blocks together and voila you can take your party over again. It would be interesting to watch Covalt and his cronies piss and moan.

  31. Brian T. Osborn says:

    I don’t think you know me as well as you think you do. I am a devout social Liberal, albeit one that favors fiscal responsibility. I have always been an independently minded person, even when I was deeply involved in the NDP, yet I am pragmatic enough to realize that my socialist tendencies are not shared with many of my neighbors.
    The NDP isn’t MY party. It is the party of those Nebraskans that are registered as Democrats. The power of the party SHOULD be in their hands, not in the hands of an oligarchy comprised of a good old boy’s club. I don’t believe we should get to vote only for those that get the nod from corporate or special interest groups. I certainly don’t believe that money should be as big a factor in the political selection process as it has become.
    If I were to work toward taking over the NDP, the very first thing I would push for is a name change. I like how they do it in Minnesota, there they call it the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party. It is indicative of those that are represented by the ideals of the party. A lot of Nebraska’s Republicans – the working class, farmers, laborers, practically anyone that works for a paycheck – should look for a party that stands up and fights for them. Right now, neither the NDP nor the NEGOP do that. The NEGOP serves big money, the NDP serves Ben Nelson.
    Covalt and his cronies already piss and moan every time my fingers strike the keyboard. They have done all within their power to marginalize me from “their” party. But a voice such as mine cannot be silenced so readily. When Covalt shut down the blog that belonged to ALL of Nebraska’s Democrats just because of something I wrote that was critical of Sen. Nelson, he showed his true colors. I posted on NNN for a while, but have been boycotting it for several months now. I see no need to help Michaelis achieve any success with his blog after the little weasel kicked me in the teeth both on the NDP’s SCC and SEC.
    Sweeper is kind enough to allow me to rant here on Leavenworth Street, even though our political stances are on opposite ends of the spectrum for many issues. Sweeper has demonstrated an openness to the free flow of ideas, something that strikes fear into the hearts of those such as Covalt and Fahleson that prefer strict adherence to party dogmas.
    I have no interest in forming, nor assisting, any kind of political movement that manipulates the political parties through subterfuge. I guess you just don’t understand, Anony, that what I believe in is the power of the people. I believe in freedom of expression. I believe in democracy. And, above all else, I believe in the basic good of hard working, honest people. It is THEY that need to have their voices heard in the halls of government, NOT merely the voices of those that own everything.

  32. Anonymous says:

    Come on BTO- you need to learn to loosen up a bit and stop holding back man. It’s tough to tell what your position is on the state of political affairs within the 2 major parties. 🙂

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