Former Prince George’s County Police Officer Testifies in His Defense in Assault Trial

A retired Prince George's County police officer took the stand Wednesday to address assault charges against him.

Former Officer Donald Taylor said he was acting in self-defense.

At the center of the case is surveillance video apparently showing Taylor hitting a man with his gun, causing the gun to fire.

In February 2012, Taylor and his partner saw two men they thought were about to gob a gas station in Brentwood, Taylor said. When they approached the men, 19-year-old Ryan Dorm struggled with the officers and ran away.

Taylor originally said that when he caught Dorm, the teenager grabbed his gun, causing it to fire.

Police arrested Dorm, who spent almost four months in jail.

Then surveillance video was found that showed Dorm never reached for the gun. Charges against Dorm were dropped, and he sued the police department. Officer Taylor was suspended and charged with assault.

Dorm testified Tuesday that there was very little time between when he turned around and when the officer hit him.

Taylor testified Wednesday he didn’t know he had his gun in his hand when he hit the suspect in the head.

The defense offered several expert witnesses who told the judge Taylor acted within reason.

About a dozen Prince George's County police officers sat in the court room to support Taylor.

Closing arguments are expected Thursday morning. The judge could hand down his verdict as early as Thursday afternoon.

Follow Mark Segraves on Twitter at @SegravesNBC4

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