The United Airlines assault caught on camera on yesterday, April 10, sparks media outrage. In a video, filmed by one of the passengers, a man is dragged out of his seat by three police officers and removed from the plane by force, because he refused to leave a flight that was overbooked.
On April 10, several media reports have shared an amateur video taken with the phone by a passenger of United Airlines at the time before departing. It was Sunday, April 9. The plane, Flight 3411, was departing from Chicago’s O’Hare Airport, with the destination Louisville on Sunday. While people are in their seats, getting ready for the flight, three police officers are seen getting rough with one of the passengers. At first, the passenger is not seen and people are more annoyed than agitated.
But when one of the officers reaches out for the passenger and drags him down on the floor, hitting his head on one of the chairs on the opposite row, it becomes horrific. The victim is seen dragged by the arms, down the aisle, under the terrified looks of the other passengers. One woman starts yelling at the officers. The man looks unresponsive.
Later, footage shows the man back on the plane, but he is visibly in extreme distress. He is injured, he is running up and down the aisle and keeps repeating the same words.
It is not clear if the behaviour that the man shows is due to a previous psychological condition, or if it was inflicted by the assault. However, CNN commentators emphasize that any person treated in a similar way might react in an extreme or unexpected manner.
While the police have opened an investigation on the United Airlines assault, it is reported that the flight was overbooked and that the man was asked to leave the plane. He refused, saying he was a doctor and had patients to see the following day.
United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz said that the incident was “upsetting” to them and apologized for having to accommodate some of the passengers. He added that the company is collaborating with police forces to get to the bottom of what the incident was about and resolve it.
Following the United Airlines assault, the officer who attacked the man on the plane has been placed on leave.
Numerous celebrities have immediately reacted to the horrific news.
“This could be me or you next time. Shame on @United who broke customer trust + instigated this. Shame on the airport cops. Cowardly assault.”, tweeted Ava DuVernay.
— Ava DuVernay (@ava) April 10, 2017
“Getting on a United flight this morning. Excited to, I don’t know… stay on?” wrote Joss Whedon. He later added: “”For the comfort and safety of the other passengers, please remember we will be resorting to cannibalism BY GROUP NUMBER” #united”
"For the comfort and safety of the other passengers, please remember we will be resorting to cannibalism BY GROUP NUMBER" #united
— Joss Whedon (@joss) April 10, 2017
‘Cannot wait to use “i will re-accommodate your ass” in my next fight’ reacted Chrissy Teigen.
cannot wait to use "i will re-accommodate your ass" in my next fight
— christine teigen (@chrissyteigen) April 10, 2017
I am appalled and absolutely disgusted….this is unacceptable. https://t.co/ZO7X2Cbdve
— Zendaya (@Zendaya) April 10, 2017
So @united sucks. But the Chicago police who dragged the man off the flight are also monsters. Police using unnecessary force, again.
— Kumail Nanjiani (@kumailn) April 10, 2017
Ironically, not enough seats in the conference room where United is having its crisis meeting.
— Jon Lovett (@jonlovett) April 10, 2017
— Jeffrey Wright (@jfreewright) April 10, 2017