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DC police officer fights for job following deadly shooting

Trainer shot and killed an unarmed black man named Terrence Sterling in 2016.

WASHINGTON (WUSA9) — The police officer at the center of a controversial DC Police shooting is fighting to keep his job.

The trial board hearing for Officer Brian Trainer began Wednesday morning in Northwest DC. Trainer shot and killed an unarmed black man named Terrence Sterling in 2016.

In 2017, an MPD Internal Review Board recommended that Trainer should be terminated for violating department policy.

Trainer's hearing lasted eleven hours on Wednesday. Six witnesses testified at the hearing including Trainer's partner Jordan Palmer.

Palmer was driver of the car that chased Sterling on his motorcycle. He was suspended 20 days without pay following an admission that he was involved in the unauthorized pursuit of Sterling.

At the hearing, Palmer testified the shooting was justified because Trainer was assaulted and that Sterling's motorcycle had posed an immediate threat.

RELATED: DC Officer who shot and killed unarmed black man petitions for job

Palmer added that Trainer made a direct command and demanded that Terrence Sterling get off his motorcycle before the shooting occurred.

However, another witness at the hearing contradicted that account. Howard Dorsey captured cell phone video of the incident. He said he did not hear such a command.

"Nothing was said at all," Dorsey said.

Sterling's girlfriend also attended the hearing. Shanita Stagg said it was an emotional experience.

"It's been hard to hear someone who I knew personally, and someone who I knew how a pleasant person he was -- to hear the opposite depiction of him," she said.

The trial board hearing is expected to last another two days. The three member trial board then has about two weeks to come up with a decision.

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