Police say 'minimal but necessary force'
used on United passenger
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[April 25, 2017]
(Reuters) - A police officer said
"minimal but necessary force" was used to remove a United Airlines
<UAL.N> 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 arrested."
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
Demetrio said through a spokeswoman to the Wall Street Journal that the
police version of events was "utter nonsense. Consider the source.”
[to top of second column]
A video screengrab shows passenger David Dao being dragged off a
United Airlines flight at Chicago O'Hare International Airport in
this video filmed by @JayseDavid April 9, 2017. Jayse D. Anspach via
Chicago's aviation department on Monday told the Journal that the
three officers involved remained on leave and that it was conducting
(Reporting by Brendan O'Brien in Milwaukee; Editing by Robin
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