Officers fired over removal of United passenger

by Harriet Bell October 20, 2017, 0:20
Officers fired over removal of United passenger

Incident reports from the officers said Dao was swinging his arms and had his fists balled as they tried to pull him from his seat.

Dao has since reached an undisclosed settlement United Airlines over the incident.

A video of Dao's removal went viral in April, sparking widespread outrage online.

Thomas Demetrio, Dao's lawyer, issued a statement Tuesday applauding United Airlines for its "acceptance of corporate accountability" but added that it was "not a day of celebration for Dr. Dao, who is neither vindictive nor happy about Mr. Ferguson's findings".

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The incident, captured on video, showed David Dao, who refused to give up his seat for United crew members, being dragged from a plane at O'Hare International Airport.

"The ASO's use of excessive force caused the passenger to hit his face on an armrest, resulting in the passenger sustaining a concussion, a broken nose and the loss of teeth", Ferguson wrote. But for the video, the filed report stating that only "minimal" force was used would have been unnoticed.

CNN reports that the employees - three Department of Aviation security officers and a sergeant - were found by the city's Office of Inspector General to have "mishandled a nonthreatening situation that resulted in a physically violent forcible removal of a passenger". The inspector general's office said one of those officers "made misleading statements" in reports, and the other "made material omissions" in a report about Dao being forcefully removed from the aircraft. Dao never raised his voice, the couple said.

It was not immediately clear if the disciplined officers included any of the three placed on leave following the incident. United came under fire for how Dao was removed from the flight, as well as for how it initially responded to reports of the incident.

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In July, the aviation department determined that the Chicago Police Department would be the lead responder on disturbance calls at the airport, not the unarmed aviation security officers.

The chairman of the City Council's Black Caucus has demanded that aviation security officers continue to undergo four months of training at the police academy and retain their titles as police officers.

The Aviation Department confirmed that a review of its policies and procedures was underway and would be complete by the first quarter of next year, the inspector general's report said. They were identified only as an aviation security officer and a sergeant. However, several aldermen have objected to Evans' move, and said only the City Council can make such a change regarding the city's aviation officers.

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