Security officers fired over United Airlines' passenger removal incident
18 October 2017
Two Chicago aviation officials were fired and two others were suspended over an incident in which a passenger was forcibly removed from a packed flight.
Cellphone footage showed security officers on 9 April dragging Dr David Dao by his arms and legs down the aisle off the flight for Louisville, Kentucky before it took off from Chicago O'Hare International Airport (See: Chicago city council to grill United Airlines over bumping).
The incident left Dao bloodied and bruised and attracted a firestorm for the airline.
Three Chicago Department of Aviation security officers and a sergeant "mishandled a nonthreatening situation that resulted in a physically violent forcible removal of a passenger" aboard the flight, a City of Chicago Office of Inspector General investigation found, officials reported yesterday.
Employees made "misleading statements and deliberately removed material facts from their reports," the investigation found.
The aviation department, taking action on the inspector general's findings and recommendations, fired the officer "who improperly escalated the incident," the inspector general's office said. Further, the sergeant "involved in the deliberate removal of facts from an employee report" also was terminated, officials said.
According to officials, two officers were suspended.
"The use of excessive force caused the passenger to hit his face on an armrest, resulting in a concussion, a broken nose and the loss of two teeth," officials said, CNN reported.
The report also stated that the ''investigation also uncovered that the employees made misleading statements and deliberately removed material facts from their reports''. Consequently, the department terminated the security officer ''who improperly escalated the incident'' and the sergeant for deliberate removal of facts from an employee report.
Meanwhile, a spokeswoman for the inspector general said the people who were fired are appealing their discharges, a spokeswoman, adding that as the case is ''open and ongoing,'' she was not allowed to disclose the exact date of their termination.
The incident happened due to the flight being fully booked and as United tried to fly a four-person flight crew to Louisville, Kentucky, the destination of Dao's flight.