FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – A Fort Worth officer has been found guilty of aggravated perjury for lying about the events of a beating that took place during an arrest in 2016.
A short time later, the police department terminated him.
Jon Romer was on trial after being accused of lying to a grand jury about the arrest of Henry Newson at Texas Health Harris hospital. Newson had claimed that Romer never said he was under arrest before he was hit in the face by the officer and wrestled to the ground.
During that incident, Newson was eventually taken into custody for resisting arrest and trespassing, but those charges were later dropped.
Body camera and security footage showed the events where Romer, who was working off-duty at the hospital, punched and choked Newson. However, the recordings showed that Romer didn’t tell Newson he was under arrest until after he had him pinned to the ground.
Discretion Advised: Some people may find the following video disturbing.
“I was confused, like, ‘what’s going on?’ At the time if he was arresting me, I wouldn’t have had a problem with it because I can’t fight the law,” Newson said.
Kate Gardner, a former prosecutor for the Tarrant County District Attorney’s office, testified during the trial that she was concerned about the use of force after she saw the videos in March 2017. She decided not to prosecute the case against Newson and informed her supervisor of the decision.
A year later, Romer was placed on restricted duty with no gun, badge or police authority. This came after a civil lawsuit and charges of oppression and perjury were filed against him.
On Wednesday, Romer was found guilty of aggravated perjury and faces up to 10 years in prison.