Texas cop indicted for lying about racially motivated beating previously killed a black man in front of his three children
A Fort Worth Police officer now indicted for hitting a black man and then lying to investigators about the circumstances was previously involved in a high-profile police killing.
Last week, officer Jon Preston Romer Jr., 38, was indicted for lying about an incident which happened while he was moonlighting as a security officer at a hospital. Romer choked and punched Henry Newson, a black man waiting for transportation after being discharged from the hospital, according to prosecutors. He allegedly lied about the circumstances to investigators and then lied under oath by claiming he told Newson that he was under arrest before striking him. Newson was charged in the incident, but those charges have now been dropped.
The incident raises troubling questions about a past incident involving Romer which prompted protests in Fort Worth.
In 2013, Romer claimed that he stopped 32-year-old Charal Thomas and that Thomas rolled up his car window and trapped Romer’s arm. Romer claimed that he “feared for his life.”
Romer then fatally shot the Thomas with his three young children in the back seat, watching.
“That driver, the suspect—all he had to do was ascent to what the officer asked him to do which was step out of the vehicle,” and investigator claimed at the time.
“It’s easy to stand on the outside of police work and point a finger of either racism or something inappropriate,” then-chief Jeff Halstead said at the time. “We have the hardest job in the nation.”
Despite being indicted for perjury and lying to investigators, Romer is still a cop in Fort Worth, though he is on “restricted duty.”
Watch a 2013 video about Romer’s killing of Thomas below.