Video clips of a passenger being dragged off a United Airlines flight because the airline wanted to use his seat for a crew member went viral, especially after the short footage showed the passenger screaming before security officers wrestled him to the floor and dragged him bleeding and dazed from the plane.
The Sunday evening incident has sparked international outrage against United, along with a fresh wave apologies from CEO Oscar Munoz.
A lot of support has flooded in for Dao despite the fact that he resisted authorities. The focus by United critics has been on the airline’s policies and handling of the situation as well as the officers’ alleged brutality.
But new video footage from a passenger right behind Dao may shed a very different light on this incident for some people because it shows the vital one minute and 13 seconds that led up to Dao being wrestled to the ground.
The audio is unclear at some points, but it sounds like Dao is speaking to someone on his smartphone.
“I won’t go,” he tells officers while still on the phone. “I have to work tomorrow at 8 o’clock.”
He then expresses a desire to bring a lawsuit against United Airlines.
“Let’s step out really quick and have a little talk,” one of the officers says calmly.
“No, I will not!” Dao say, waving his hand at him and appearing to hang up his phone. “I’m not going. I’m not going.”
“I’ll have to drag you,” an officer replies.
“Well, you can then drag me. I don’t go. I’m not going,” Dao replies. “I’m staying right there.”
“I’m telling you, this is going to be a lot harder if you [unintelligible],” an officer says.
“I’m ready to go to jail,” Dao says.
“You’d rather go to jail then just get off?” the officer asks.
“Yeah,” it sounds like Dao replies. “I’m due tomorrow.”
He then stutters something about “a delay” and “take a long time,” appearing to argue that taking the next flight would make him too late.
“I’m a police officer,” one of the officers says.
Then Dao mentions flying from Los Angeles and traveling for more than 24 hours. The video ends there.
An unknown amount of time later, the scuffle captured by the now-famous videos broke out.
Passenger Joya Griffin Cummings, who recorded the newest video, said she released it to show that Dao was not “irate or belligerent” as United claimed. She added that she only felt in danger when the officers arrived because she was pregnant and had a toddler with her and didn’t want to get caught in a struggle, according to the Inquisitr.
She says Dao wouldn’t have been able to arrive home until after 2 p.m. the next day if he had to take another flight.
In an earlier statement from United, they suggested Dao was belligerent with airline employees, not necessarily the officers who arrived later.
United Airlines called Cummings and offered her an apology and full refund for having to witness the incident.
The Courier-Journal, based in Louisville, claims Dao is a doctor from nearby Elizabethtown, Ky. with multiple convictions for illegal trafficking and prescribing painkillers. An earlier version of their story also mentioned accusations that he had an affair with a patient, but that seems to have been removed.
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