WATCH: Videos Show Indicted Fort Worth Officer Punching Man in Face

An indicted Fort Worth police officer punched a patient who had just been discharged from the hospital after the man called him “bro,” according to videos of the incident obtained by NBC 5.

Officer Jon Romer faces charges of official oppression and lying to a grand jury after he arrested the man in November 2016 at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital.

Several videos obtained by NBC 5 show hospital security officers were tracking Henry Newson with surveillance cameras.

Newson, who was 20 at the time, had just spent two days in the hospital being treated for a stomach ailment and was waiting in the lobby for his mother to pick him up.

“I’m just trying to figure out what you’re doing,” a security officer asked him.

He said he was waiting for a ride from his mother.

The conversation escalated as the officer continued to question him.

Romer, who was working for the hospital off-duty, walked up seconds later and immediately confronted Newson.

“Hey get off the phone. Shut up. Get off the phone. Let’s go,” Romer said.

The officer placed his hand on Newson’s chest, pushed him backward, and seemed to take offense when Newson called him “bro.”

“Bro?” Romer asked before he punched Newson in the face, grabbed him around the neck, and forced him to the ground.

Hospital security officers piled on.

Newson was arrested for resisting arrest and trespassing and spent two days in jail.

He is now suing the city and the hospital

“He doesn’t resist, he doesn’t fight back,” said Newson’s attorney, Matthew Bobo. “It was fast. It was violent and there was nothing that would have indicated that that should have happened or was going to happen. But it happened immediately. And there was no provocation by Mr. Newson.”

Prosecutors dropped the case against Newson in March 2017, according to court records.

A special prosecutor was appointed in January. Romer was indicted earlier this month for official oppression and lying to a grand jury. The department suspended him the same day.

The alleged lie was that he told Newson he was under arrest before he punched him.

The footage shows Newson was already on the ground when Romer told him he was under arrest.

Newson’s attorney questioned why the police department took no action.

“The first time somebody ever saw that video, they should have put him on a desk, taken him off,” Bobo said. “They should have terminated him, quite frankly. I mean, period.”

But Romer remained on the street until December, and the department didn’t take his gun and badge until two weeks ago — the day he was indicted.

The videos will likely play a key role in both the lawsuit, and the criminal case.

The videos continued rolling until Newson was taken to jail.

“Let me call my mom. I need to go,” Newson said.

Romer told him he didn’t need his mother because he was 20 years old.

“I do need my mom,” Newson said. “She’s coming to pick me up. That’s the whole point I was here. I did not expect to get attacked by a cop.”

Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital declined to comment, citing the pending lawsuit.


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Filming Cops
Filming Cops 5618 posts

Filming Cops was started in 2010 as a conglomerative blogging service documenting police abuse. The aim isn’t to demonize the natural concept of security provision as such, but to highlight specific cases of State-monopolized police brutality that are otherwise ignored by traditional media outlets.

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