By now we all know the story of the doctor dragged off a United Express flight by police after he wouldn’t give up his seat when the airline asked.
United needed to fly 4 crew members to Louisville for a flight the next day, they offered up to $800 in compensation and a hotel room for anyone willing to fly out the next day, but there weren’t any takers.
The airline called Chicago Aviation Police, and three officers responding to the incident dragged the man off the plane. He returned later, bloodied.
CEO Oscar Munoz simply apologizes for having to reaccommodate passengers. But the real scandal here is the police response.
I hadn’t seen this video of what the man looked like when he returned to the plane. He mumbles, ” “just kill me, just kill me.”
— Kaylyn Davis (@kaylyn_davis) April 10, 2017
Chicago’s Department of Aviation says,
The incident … was not in accordance with our standard operating procedure and the actions of the aviation security officer are obviously not condoned by our Department. The officer has been placed on leave effective today and pending a thorough review of the situation.
The officer ‘is on leave’.
Meanwhile according to the Chicago Police Department (a different administrative unit from the Aviation Police),
[T]he man “fell” on his face and injured himself. CPD issued a statement on Monday, described the passenger as “irate,” and said aviation security officers “attempted to carry” the man off the plane “when he fell.”
While United is being roasted for this, the horrifying story here appears to be police misconduct.
Given that when crew order you off the plane, you have to get off the plane and considering law enforcement was involved and conflict ensued things could have been even worse — the passenger could have been accused of terrorism with some doubt as to whether they’d be heard from again.
Still, this is horrifying.