April 25 A police officer said "minimal but
necessary force" was used to remove a United Airlines
customer from a plane in what has become a public relations
disaster for the company.
Video taken by other passengers showed David Dao, a
69-year-old Vietnamese-American doctor, being dragged up the
aisle with blood on his face after the airline decided it needed
his seat for a crew member on a flight from Chicago to Kentucky
on April 9.
Dao suffered concussion, a broken nose and lost two front
teeth and is likely to sue the airline, his lawyer, Thomas
Demetrio, has said. In its initial reaction, the airline did not
apologize to Dao and described him as "disruptive and
belligerent." Social media users in the United States, Vietnam
and China called for a boycott.
In an incident reported released by city authorities and
posted on the Chicago Tribune's website, aviation police officer
Mauricio Rodriguez said Dao had become combative when he and two
other officers tried to persuade him to leave the plane.
According to the report, Dao told the officers: "I'm not
leaving this flight that I paid money for. I don't care if I get
An officer identified as James Long then tried to get Dao
out of his seat, at which point the passenger "started swinging
his arms up and down fast and violently," the report said.
Long lost control of Dao as he swung, causing Dao to fall
and hit his mouth on the armrest. Long "assisted the subject by
using minimal but necessary force" to get him off the aircraft,
Rodriguez said in the report.
Demetrio said through a spokeswoman to the Wall Street
Journal that the police version of events was "utter nonsense.
Consider the source.”
Chicago's aviation department on Monday told the Journal
that the three officers involved remained on leave and that it
was conducting an investigation.
(Reporting by Brendan O'Brien in Milwaukee; Editing by Robin