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Texas Officer Indicted In Brutal Beating of Black Man Who Was Just Waiting for His Ride at Hospital 

A Dallas-Fort Wort officer has been indicted on charges stemming from the brutal beating of a Black man at a local hospital in November 2016.

Officer John Preston Romer Jr., 38, was indicted earlier this month on charges of official oppression, making a false report to a peace officer, and aggravated perjury, The Dallas Morning News reported. He was released from the Tarrant County Jail on March 15 after posting bail.

The Nov. 5 incident unfolded at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital, where Romer, who was working private security at the time, encountered 21-year-old Henry Newson. According to NBC Dallas-Fortworth, Newson had just spent two days in the hospital for a stomach ailment and was waiting for his mom to pick him up.

Surveillance footage of the shocking incident shows Romer approach the Black man and immediately begin questioning him.

“I’m just trying to figure out what you’re doing,” the security officer asks, to which Newson replies he’s waiting for a ride.

The incident quickly escalates from there as Romer continues pressing the young man about being at the hospital.

“Hey get off the phone. Shut up. Get off the phone. Let’s go,” Romer is heard saying in the footage before placing his hand on Newson’s chest and shoving him backward, seeming to take offense to the man calling him “bro.”

“Bro?” Romer repeats before punching Newson in the head, placing him in a chokehold and wrestling him to the ground. Other security officers are seen rushing to help Romer.

Newson was arrested and charged with trespassing and resisting arrest, both of which were later dropped, according to The Dallas Morning News. He spent two days behind bars.

As for Romer, the-then officer tried to escape his wrongdoings by telling investigators in 2017 that his use of force was approved. He later lied to a grand jury when he said he’d informed Newson he was under arrest before punching him and forcing him to the ground. Surveillance footage of the incident contradicted his story, however. Romer was subsequently suspended from the force.

Newson is now suing the city and the hospital for the “racially motivated attack.”

“He doesn’t resist, he doesn’t fight back,” Newson’s attorney, Matthew Bobo, said. “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. There was no provocation by Mr. Newson.”

Bobo also questioned why the Fort Worth police department took no action against the officer following the incident. NBC Dalls-Fort Worth reported that Romer remained on the street until December and the department didn’t strip him of his gun and badge until two weeks ago when he was indicted.

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

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