unWhen video of the dramatic confrontation between a United Airlines passenger and aviation department officers went viral earlier this month, it kicked off a worldwide firestorm of discussion about exactly what had happened.
After the shock came the jokes and parodies about the airline's PR department. Then, we learned more about Dr. David Dao, the 69-year-old passenger who had been dragged off the flight from Chicago to Kentucky before takeoff.
Now, weeks later, we finally have a description of the incident from the officers who arrested Dao, including the man who pulled him out of his seat and dragged him off the airplane.
In his own words, officer James Long described his encounter with Dao in an aviation department report obtained by the Associated press.
Long, who wears a baseball cat and a red shirt in the video, says he was called to the flight because of a "disturbance" involving passengers refusing to leave their seat.
Long claims that Dao was aggressive, shouting that he refused to give up his seat, and crossed his arms before passengers started taping the scene with their camera phones.
In his account of what happens next, Long gives his version of how Dao received his injuries, which his lawyers say include a broken nose, a concussion, and losing his 2 front teeth.
Click the next page to read the rest of Long's account!
Long says that since Dao refused to get out of his seat, he reached over to "hold" Dao and pull into the aisle. That's when, according to Long's report, the doctor "started swinging his arms up and down with a closed fist."
The officer says that Dao was "flailing and fighting," managing to knock Long's arms away but lose his balance in the process. Long says that's when the passenger lost his balance, falling and hitting his mouth on an arm rest.
Long also says that Dao refused to stand up, which is why he dragged the doctor off of the plane. The officer's report seems to contradict some of the video footage of the incident, which may explain United's decision to settle Dao's lawsuit.
Along with the public backlash, the incident lead to some very serious reactions from Chicago's department of aviation and United Airlines.
The airline announced this week that they'll start compensating passengers who voluntarily give up their seats with up to $10,000. United's CEO Oscar Munoz originally called Dao belligerent, but has since apologized and blamed the incident on a "system failure."
Chicago's aviation department also issued a notice to their employees, saying that force should only be used when "reasonably necessary to defend a human life, effect an arrest or control a person," and only enough to "overcome the resistance being offered."
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