Officer who violently dragged man off United Airlines flight put on leave

James Tennent
United Airlines

The Chicago Aviation Department (CAD) has put an officer involved in forcibly removing a passenger from an United Airlines flight on leave, pending a review into the situation that left the man disorientated and bloody.

Video of the incident — caused when the airline desperately tried to accommodate staff after overbooking the flight — went viral on social media, sparking outrage.

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In a statement, the CAD said that the incident was "not in accordance with our standard operating procedure" and that the officer's actions were not condoned by the department, and had resulted in the officer being placed on leave.

The department has so far declined to identify the officer.

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Video of the the altercation shows the passenger screaming as he is dragged from his seat on flight 3411, causing him to hit his head on the opposing armrest. He is then dragged down the aisle, bloodied.

Passengers told media outlets that the flight had been overbooked, leading United Airlines to request passengers volunteer their seats for airline staff who needed to take the flight to Louisville, Kentucky.

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When no one agreed to give-up their seats, passengers said that customers were randomly selected — leading to the confrontation.

Fresh footage shows the unnamed 69-year-old passenger in a frantic state after managing to re-board the plane, shouting "I have to go home" and "just kill me" as he clings to a partition curtain with blood across his face.

In a statement, United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz has since described the incident as "an upsetting event to all of us here at United", and apologised for "having to re-accomodate these customers," stating the airline are working with authorities to review what had happened.

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