A former Birmingham police officer admitted in federal court he repeatedly hit a suspect who was lying motionless after being thrown from a van. But David Doran said it was done out of fear.
Doran and Barrett Dewitt are accused of using excessive force on Anthony Warren following a 2008 chase that ended in a crash.
Doran joined the chase just before Warren's van struck a Hoover police officer.
He told the court, "I feared for my own life. We needed to stop this situation as soon as possible."
Doran recalled seeing Warren's car leave the road but didn't see it flip or Warren ejected.
He said when he got to warren, he was unmoving and refusing to show his hands, so Doran delivered eleven blows and several kicks.
He told jurors,"he was dangerous. His hands were underneath him and he wasn't complying. He could have been reaching for a weapon."
Doran said he didn't handcuff Warren because his fists were injured from accidentally punching the concrete instead of Warren. He also said he assumed someone else would do it.
Dewitt will take the stand next.