A Halifax police officer who was demoted for using excessive force during a traffic stop was given the opportunity to tell his side of the story to the Nova Scotia Police Review Board on Wednesday.

Const. Matthew MacGillivray took the stand Wednesday on the third day of his appeal to get his former rank of sergeant back.

Graham Labonte of Prince Edward Island recorded a video of his wife, Angela Acorn, and officer MacGillivray in September 2015 after he pulled them over.

On Wednesday, officer MacGillivray shared what he says happened before Labonte hit record.

The couple testified he did not tell them why they had been pulled over.

But the 36-year-old officer testified when he stopped them on Highway 102, he immediately said, "Hi. My name is Sgt. MacGillivray with regional police here in Halifax. The reason I'm stopping you today is that you're doing 115 km/h."

MacGillivray testified that when the traffic stop began his tone was professional, calm and matter-of-fact, that Angela Acorn got out of the car and he told her to get back in the car several times for her own safety.

"I was pleading with her to get back in the car," he testified.

Acorn testified the officer hurt her.

MacGillivray says she was resisting arrest, and he was concerned about her husband's size.

On Tuesday, a Halifax police inspector who is considered an expert in use of force, testified MacGillivray used excessive force that was “unreasonable” and “absolutely unnecessary.”

He also said it was unnecessary for MacGillivray to disengage the first safety feature on his firearm.

MacGillivray noted he did not engage the other two safety features and that his gun stayed in its holster.

"When my hand went to my firearm it was so that I could get to it quickly to save my life and get home to my wife and kids," he testified.

MacGillivray had been a sergeant for less than three months at the time of the incident.

With files from CTV Atlantic’s Kayla Hounsell.