Fort Worth officer indicted for slugging man in hospital lobby

A Fort Worth police officer has been indicted by a grand jury after he hit a man in a hospital lobby.

Body cam video from a hospital security officer showed Henry Newson, 20, getting hit in the face by Fort Worth Police Officer Jon Romer in Nov. 2016. Romer was working off-duty at Texas Health Resources in Fort Worth where Newson had just been discharged as a patient.

"He takes offense to being called "bro" and just absolutely hit him as hard as he could possibly hit home across the face,” said Newson’s attorney, Mathew Bobo.

Bobo said Newson borrowed someone's cell phone to call his mother to pick him up. During that call, the attorney says a security officer questions Newson about what he's doing. It was at that point Romer approached and the incident happened.

A Tarrant County grand jury indicted Romer for official oppression and perjury. Fort Worth police have placed Romer on restricted duty. The video has put a spotlight on the case.

"My real worry is that it took 18 months for us to learn about that case,” said Bob Ray Sanders, who is on Fort Worth's Race and Culture Task Force.

The task force was created by the city after the viral video that showed Jacqueline Craig and her daughters being put on the ground and arrested by Officer William Martin in Dec. 2016. The Romer video happened a month before that.

"If the department expects the community to be satisfied that there was finally some kind of resolution after it goes to a grand jury after 18 months they're wrong because the community is not satisfied with that,” Sanders said. “The community should have known about this case beforehand."

Rev. Kyev Tatum says he's been pushing for more transparency from Fort Worth police for years.

"I was pleasantly surprised when we found out about the indictment,” Tatum said. “We found out there was a special prosecutor involved and we found out the police department sent it to the DA without the in your face public pressure."

Newson's attorney has also filed a lawsuit against the hospital and Romer. Newson was arrested but his charges were later dropped.

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