Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Trial Begins for Texas Cop Caught on Camera Choking Black Hospital Patient

Jon Preston Romer, Henry Newson

*A Fort Worth police officer is on trial this week on a charge that he lied to a grand jury that was investigating his assault on a Black patient who was waiting to be picked up from a hospital.

Jon Preston Romer also faces charges of official oppression and making a false report to a police officer, but the trial this week focused only on an aggravated perjury charge, star-telegram.com reports. 

Romer, who once shot a Black motorist dead in front of his children, was captured on body cam punching and kicking Henry Newson during an arrest in the lobby of the Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth on November 5, 2016.

Romer was working off-duty as a security guard on the night of the incident, and reportedly punched Newson in the face following a heated exchange, before wrestling him to the ground and choking him.

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Jon Preston RomerProsecutor Russell Wilson told the courtroom that “prior to striking Henry Newsom, Jon Preston Romer never says, you’re under arrest. In fact there was no reason, that he would have been under arrest.” 

Attorneys representing Romer argued that their client was trying to escort Newson from the hospital but he refused to leave. Newson had just receive treatment for food poisoning and was waiting for a for a relative to pick him up. But Romer and two other white security officers accused him of trespassing.

Newson testified Wednesday that the line of questions from one of the security officers made him feel uncomfortable.

“At the time, I didn’t feel safe,”he said. “I felt uncomfortable the whole time.”

When Romer arrived, he escalated the situation by getting physical.

“We were going around in a circle because he grabbed me,” Newson testified. “I was basically trying to leave but I didn’t understand why his hands were forcibly on me.”

Newson testified that he was not resisting when the told Romer not to touch him.

“There was no need for him to touch me,” Newson said. “He didn’t have any right to touch me. That’s my belief.”

Romer is now on trial for the violence he subjected Newson to during the arrest. He has been placed on restricted duty pending the outcome of the trial. If convicted, Romer faces up to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

Newson was initially charged with resisting arrest and criminal trespass, but those charges were dismissed in 2017.

Ny MaGee
Ny MaGee is an entertainment reporter with over 15 years of experience working in the film industry in areas including production and post-production, marketing, distribution, and acquisitions. She has worked for legendary film producer Roger Corman, Quentin Tarantino's production team at Miramax, the late Larry Flynt, MTV/ VH1, Hallmark Channel, Paramount, Jim Henson Co., Parade Magazine, and various LA-based companies representing above-the-line talent.

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