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Chicago, IL - Officer On Leave After Dragging United Airlines Passenger Off Plane

Published on: April 10, 2017 06:34 PM
By: Reuters 
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This Sunday, April 9, 2017, image made from a video provided by Audra D. Bridges shows a passenger being removed from a United Airlines flight in Chicago. Video of police officers dragging the passenger from an overbooked United Airlines flight sparked an uproar Monday on social media, and a spokesman for the airline insisted that employees had no choice but to contact authorities to remove the man. (Audra D. Bridges via AP)This Sunday, April 9, 2017, image made from a video provided by Audra D. Bridges shows a passenger being removed from a United Airlines flight in Chicago. Video of police officers dragging the passenger from an overbooked United Airlines flight sparked an uproar Monday on social media, and a spokesman for the airline insisted that employees had no choice but to contact authorities to remove the man. (Audra D. Bridges via AP)

Chicago, IL - An aviation security officer who dragged a passenger off of an overbooked United Airlines flight to make room for employees has been placed on leave, Chicago authorities said on Monday.

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It was the second instance in less than a month of public outcry regarding the airline.

The officer—one of three involved in the Sunday night incident—did not follow protocol, according to a statement from the Chicago Department of Aviation, and as a result “has been placed on leave effective today pending a thorough review of the situation.”

“The actions of the aviation security officer are obviously not condoned by the Department,” the statement said.

The incident was one of the top-trending topics on Twitter as users took to the website to express their anger over the forceful removal of the passenger from United Flight 3411 as it was about to take off from Chicago to Louisville, Kentucky, on Sunday.

Video of the incident posted to Twitter account @Tyler_Bridges shows three security officers huddling over the seated passenger, who appears to be an older Asian man, before dragging him on the floor.

Bridges said that the man told United staff that he was a doctor and had to return home to patients.

The airline said it had asked for volunteers to leave because additional flight crew needed to get to Louisville.

The outcry prompted a statement from Chief Executive Officer Oscar Munoz. “This is an upsetting event to all of us here at United. I apologize for having to re-accommodate these customers.”

Munoz said United was “moving with a sense of urgency” to work with the authorities and conduct its own review of the incident.

In Bridges’ video, a woman asks: “Can’t they rent a car for the pilots and have them drive?” Two uniformed men then reach into the doctor’s seat and yank him from his chair.

Fellow passenger Jayse D. Anspach, who goes by @JayseDavid on Twitter, wrote: “No one volunteered (to leave), so @United decided to choose for us. They chose an Asian doctor and his wife.”

While airport security staff were ejecting him, Anspach wrote, his face was slammed against an arm rest, causing his mouth to bleed.

“It looked like he was knocked out, because he went limp and quiet,” Anspach wrote, “and they dragged him out of the plane like a rag doll.”

Bridge’s video shows the passenger screaming as officers yank him from his seat. He is then seen being dragged down the aisle on his back by his hands, body limp, glasses askew and shirt pulled up above his navel.

Another video shows him, still disheveled from the altercation, returning to the cabin, running to the back of the plane and repeating: “I have to go home.”

Much of the uproar surrounded the appropriateness of removing a paying customer in order to accommodate airline staff.

“They bloodied a senior citizen & dragged him off the plane so THEIR OWN STAFF could take his seat,” one Twitter user wrote.

Other social media users questioned whether the man would have been removed as forcefully had he not been Asian.

Late last month, two teenage girls dressed in leggings were denied boarding on a United flight from Denver to Minneapolis because of their form-fitting pants.

Because the girls were using free passes for employees or family members, they were subject to a dress code.



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Read Comments (7)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Apr 10, 2017 at 07:16 PM Godol-Hador Says:

This is an utter outrage
I hope this guy sues United for millions
As a very frequent flier I avoid flying united they are the worst

2

 Apr 11, 2017 at 04:31 PM Mayer Says:

So it is not only Yidden that get mistreated on planes.

3

 Apr 12, 2017 at 07:46 PM alterknaker Says:

This story sounds very familiar with me, its the way the passengers are treated like a piece of dirt,
1st of all, what right does it give them to overbook a flight? why can I be forced to leave a flight, just because they've overbooked it?
I have travelled with UA not to long ago, I had 1 1/2 Lb. overweight, so they asked me to re pack & take things out till the last ounce, I started arguing, so the best they could do to shut me up was, BE QUITE OR I'LL HAVE THE POLICE COMING & ARREST YOU, is this the norm?

4

 Apr 12, 2017 at 10:47 PM Ex-Airline Passenger Says:

Look, the injured passenger bears some responsibility, as to what occurred. I saw a different video tape of him stating "I'm not leaving my seat; you're going to have to drag me off". Hence, that is exactly what they did. According to the aviation contract, United had the legal right to eject passengers at random, if they need the seats. I'm not saying that the cops didn't use excessive force. Unfortunately, these incidents happened more often than we realize. About four years ago, there was an incident on a Jet Blue flight, from NYC to Phoenix. There was an altercation, involving a Black woman seated in back of an older White man. Her kid kept kicking the seat, and the White guy objected. The Black woman became very obnoxious. I believe that the crew had to intervene. In the meantime, a Jewish woman from the Phoenix area, filmed the incident. When the Jet Blue crew demanded her copy of the tape, she refused and they threatened to arrest her. When the plane landed, they had the Phoenix police arrest her. In the airport, a Hispanic Phoenix cop shoved her down a flight of stairs. Charges against the woman were dropped. I told her to sue Jet Blue, but she told me that she was afraid.

5

 Apr 12, 2017 at 11:40 PM Liepa Says:

I'm not a fan of suing since we are over litigated here in the US. However, in this case there's certainly a lot of merit to sue and sue big, not only United Airlines but also the aviation department that so ruthlessly enforced this travesty !!!

6

 Apr 13, 2017 at 08:20 AM Butterfly Says:

I think I will sell whatever mileage I have.

7

 Apr 13, 2017 at 04:01 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #4  
Ex-Airline Passenger Says:

Look, the injured passenger bears some responsibility, as to what occurred. I saw a different video tape of him stating "I'm not leaving my seat; you're going to have to drag me off". Hence, that is exactly what they did. According to the aviation contract, United had the legal right to eject passengers at random, if they need the seats. I'm not saying that the cops didn't use excessive force. Unfortunately, these incidents happened more often than we realize. About four years ago, there was an incident on a Jet Blue flight, from NYC to Phoenix. There was an altercation, involving a Black woman seated in back of an older White man. Her kid kept kicking the seat, and the White guy objected. The Black woman became very obnoxious. I believe that the crew had to intervene. In the meantime, a Jewish woman from the Phoenix area, filmed the incident. When the Jet Blue crew demanded her copy of the tape, she refused and they threatened to arrest her. When the plane landed, they had the Phoenix police arrest her. In the airport, a Hispanic Phoenix cop shoved her down a flight of stairs. Charges against the woman were dropped. I told her to sue Jet Blue, but she told me that she was afraid.

You may be right. The man failed to comply with the airline and police and he became belligerent he then ran back into the plane further delaying the flight. It is not for him to decide the airlines policy or resist arrest. If the police did not use excessive force he doesn't have much of a case. Common sense tells anyone don't resist.He could have walked off the plane with the police but chose not to.

8

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