Airlines

Footage emerges of passenger before he was dragged off United flight

'The O'Reilly Factor' investigates

 

New video has emerged of Dr. David Dao—the passenger who was infamously dragged off a United flight—before he was forcibly removed from his seat by the Chicago Aviation Police Department at O’Hare airport on Sunday.

Clips of Dao being dragged down the aisle have since gone viral, with many of his fellow passengers coming to his defense after United CEO Oscar Munoz claimed the man was “disruptive and belligerent.”

But passenger Joya Griffin Cummings says she began filming Dao’s encounter with the Chicago Aviation police officers before he was physically taken out of his airplane seat.

In Cummings' video (which has since been uploaded to YouTube by user R Marbles), Dao, who is seated next to the window, says to the officers standing in the aisle, “I won’t go. I’m a physician I have to work tomorrow, eight o’clock.”

Dao who is on his cellphone, appears to say something about making a “lawsuit against United Airlines” but does not raise his voice until the officers continue to tell him he has to leave. “I am not going,” he repeats, while shaking his head.

The officer then suggests that he may have to “drag” Dao off.

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“Well, you can then drag me. I don’t go, I’m not going,” the doctor says again. “I’m staying right here.”

“I’m just telling you, it’s going to be a lot harder for you,” Dao replies, “Yes, I know that, I’d rather go to jail.”

The clip then switches angles, at which point Dao can no longer be seen but can be heard saying “I have to go home.”

In a Facebook post, Cummings wrote, “Thank you to all of the friends and friends of friends who shared my video of Dr. Dao before he was forcibly removed from our flight. For getting the word out that this passenger was no more ‘irate or belligerent’ than any weary passenger after a long day of travel would be.”

She continues, " 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. I was worried about what a physical altercation would entail with us sitting directly behind him and if the officers were armed in a tiny, confined space."

Cummings says a United representative called her Wednesday evening to offer an apology, and a full refund for her tickets. But, says the passenger, it's just a "small gesture for the horror that everyone experienced on that plane and what the world is experiencing now at this injustice."

Munoz has since issued a public apology, calling the incident "truly horrific," but many PR experts have warned it may be too little too late.

A representative for United was not immediately available for comment.