Jury selection starts in trial of Fort Worth police officer

Jury selection began Monday in the trial of a Fort Worth police officer accused of punching a man and lying about it.

After questioning potential jurors for hours, a panel is close to being seated. That panel will consider if officer Jon Romer assaulted a man he had no right to and lied about it.

Officer Jon Romer was working an off-duty security officer job at the time of the incident. Henry Newson was a patient who had just been discharged.

Body camera video shows Romer punch and then choke Newson at Harris Methodist Hospital in November 2016. Newson was arrested for trespassing, but those charges were dropped.

It's unclear why Romer at the time confronted Newson. However, the incident was not made public until 18-months later when the officer was charged with official oppression, filing a false report and perjury for making a false statement under oath. He told Newson he was under arrest before slugging him.

A special prosecutor is handling the state's case.

According to the indictment, Romer falsely told investigators the use of force had been approved by the Fort Worth Police Department.

Fort Worth Race and Culture Task Force member Bob Ray Sanders was among several who spoke out about the department’s handling of the case.

Romer was placed on restricted duty after his arrest. His punishment within the department will be determined after his trial.

Opening arguments are set to get underway on Tuesday.