Paul Schene took the witness stand Tuesday morning to say the use of force was justified when he kicked and punched a 15-year-old girl in a jail cell.
Surveillance cameras recorded the November 2008 incident in a holding cell at SeaTac City Hall.
Under questioning from his attorney, Schene said he was following his training when Malika Calhoun kicked a shoe at him, striking him in the leg. The tape shows Schene rush into the cell, kick the girl, then push her against a wall before throwing her to the ground, where he punched her.
When asked why he reacted in such a manner, Schene said he thought "she was going to hit me with the second shoe," he testified in court on Tuesday. He added he responded by using lawful techniques to subdue her.
"It was to stop her from assaulting me again, place her in handcuffs, restrain her and put her back on the bench," he said. "This is trained. This is trained in the academy."
The sheriff's sergeant who initially investigated the beating also testified.
Sgt. Mike Caldwell said Schene told him he used a hair-hold and a wrist-hold to subdue the teen. Caldwell said Schene never mentioned anything about punching or kicking the girl.
However, Caldwell said Schene wanted the girl booked for assaulting a police officer because of the shoe being kicked at his shin.
It was only later, when a detective reviewed the video, that the criminal investigation against Schene began.
Prosecutors say Schene broke the law while wearing the badge. He has been charged with misdemeanor assault.
Schene was fired from the King County Sheriff's Office in September. Testimony in trial could wrap up Wednesday.