Two officers fired for dragging doctor off of United Airlines flight

Gladys Abbott
October 19, 2017

Footage filmed by other passengers showed that aviation officers dragged Dr. David Dao by his hands and feet down the aisle of an April 9 flight bound for Louisville, Kentucky.

The firings were included in a report on the incident released on Tuesday by the Chicago Office of the Inspector General. However, one officer appealed the ruling and had his suspension lowered to two days and another officer who appealed resigned before officials made a resolution, according to DNAinfo. The office found that three aviation officers and one security sergeant "mishandled" the situation, and found employees had made misleading statements to purposely remove "material facts" from reports.

The investigation also shows that certain facts about the incident were deliberately removed from an employee report.

After initially mishandling the aftermath of the affair, United Airlines apologised and settled with Mr Dao, who had threatened to sue them, for an undisclosed sum.

"As we have clearly stated, the department is taking every action in our power to ensure that an incident like this never, ever occurs again", Lauren Huffman, deputy commissioner of communications for the Aviation Department, said in a statement.

He had been apparently randomly selected to be leave the Flight 3411 to Louisville because United needed the seat for a member of a different flight crew but Dr Dao refused, saying he had patient appointments to keep.

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The two who were fired held the rank of Officer and #Aviation Security Seargent, according to Joseph Ferguson, Chicago's Inspector General.

A few days after the incident, Dao's attorney, Thomas Demetrio, detailed his client's injuries to a packed news conference at Chicago's Union League Club.

An aviation spokesperson was not immediately available for comment.

"There is a lesson to be learned here for police officers at all levels", Demetrio said. But for the video, the filed report stating that only "minimal" force was used would have been unnoticed.

Inspector General Joseph Ferguson, who heads the midwestern USA city's watchdog office, had been pursuing an internal probe of the officers' actions. The city also had the word "police" removed from security officer uniforms and vehicles.

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