Chicago fires two security officers involved in United dragging incident; another quits

A United Airlines jet is pushed back from a gate at George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston on July 8, 2015.

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A United Airlines jet is pushed back from a gate at George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston on July 8, 2015.

The Chicago Department of Aviation fired two security officers involved in dragging a 69-year-old passenger off a United Airlines flight for refusing to give up his seat, the city's inspector general said Tuesday.

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The passenger, David Dao, suffered a concussion, broken nose and the loss of two teeth in the April incident at Chicago's O'Hare airport, as he was removed from a flight bound for Louisville. The plane was full and the airline needed several seats to get crew members in position for their next flights.

The city's Office of Inspector General found in a report Tuesday that three of the department's security officers and a sergeant "mishandled a non-threatening situation that resulted in a physically violent and forceful removal of a passenger aboard United Airlines Flight 3411."


The officers made misleading statements and deliberately removed facts from their reports about the incident, the report said.

Based on those findings, the aviation department fired one of the officers and the sergeant for escalating the incident and deliberately removing facts from an employee report.

The department suspended the other two officers – one for five days and one for two days – for the deliberate removal of facts from a report. The officer with the five-day suspension then resigned, according to The Associated Press.

The aviation department is reviewing its policies and procedures, with a report expected in early 2018.

United and the city have apologized repeatedly to Dao, and the airline reached an undisclosed settlement with him.

Dao's attorney, Thomas Demetrio, told AP that dismissing the officer who was not a sergeant was unexpected, but could resonate with other officers. He said the department's review of its policies should have been done the day after incident.

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"In firing him, perhaps it will send a clear message to police and airline personnel all over the world that unnecessary violence is not the way to handle passenger matters," Demetrio said.

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