New video footage has emerged of the United Airlines incident, and it shows the tense conversation leading up to the forcible removal of passenger Dr. David Dao.
The video, shot by fellow passenger Joya Griffin Cummings, showed Dao speaking to security, who were asking him to exit the overbooked plane flying from Chicago to Louisville on Sunday, April 9. “I won’t go. I’m a physician. I have to work tomorrow, 8 o’clock,” he told the security personnel. The passenger appears to be talking on his cell phone at the same time and telling someone that he will “make a lawsuit against United Airlines.”
Dao argues with security and insists that he won’t get off. “No, I am not going. I am not going!” The officer replies, “Well, we’ll have to drag you.” Dao says, “Drag me then. I’m not going. I’m staying right here.” He adds to the person on the phone, “They’re trying to use force.”
The passenger goes as far as to say he’d “rather go to jail” than deplane. He continues to explain that he was connecting in Chicago from L.A., and it had already been a long day of traveling. As seen in other videos of the incident, Dao was later dragged off the plane by Chicago Department of Aviation officials and was seen bleeding from the mouth after hitting his head on an armrest.
Cummings took to Facebook to explain that as an eyewitness, she was shocked by the airline’s treatment of its customers. “This passenger was no more ‘irate or belligerent’ than any weary passenger after a long day of travel would be. He just wanted to go home, had to work the next day and did not feel it was right to have to give up his seat, a seat he was already sitting in on the plane,” she wrote. “I was not concerned for my safety, nor that of my toddler’s or for my pregnancy until the police were called aboard our plane to remove him.”
She added that a representative from United Airlines later called to personally apologize and offer a full refund for her tickets. “This is a small gesture for the horror that everyone experienced on that plane and what the world is experiencing now at this injustice,” she wrote.
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