United Airlines: New video suggests Dr. David Dao was not "belligerent" before removal

Source: AP
Source: AP

The drama onboard United Airways flight 3411 appears to be unending. 

In case you somehow missed it, passenger Dr. David Dao was forcibly removed from an overbooked United Airlines flight departing from Chicago on Sunday evening. The entire ordeal — including the incident's graphic and bloody aftermath — was caught on camera by fellow passengers.

Now, new footage has emerged showing the events leading up to Chicago Department of Aviation security officers dragging Dao out of his seat, knocking his face against the armrest, and pulling him down the aisle and off the plane.

Source: YouTube

The footage shows Dao firmly telling the security officer he wouldn't go. "I'm a physician, [I] have to work tomorrow, eight o'clock," he said. Dao, holding a phone to his ear, also talked about "mak[ing] a lawsuit against United Airlines."

The video shows the officer telling Dao he will have to "drag" him from his seat, adding that "this can be a lot harder" if he didn't cooperate. Dao replied, "Yeah, I'd rather go to jail."

The video cuts out before returning to show Dao repeatedly saying, "I have to go home, I have to go home." 

In the wake of the incident, United Airlines described Dao's behavior as "belligerent" prior to his forced removal from the aircraft. In a separate statement, the Chicago Police Department said Dao had acted "irate" and "fell" in the process, resulting in injury.

Joya Griffin Cummings, the passenger who filmed and share this new footage, wrote in a Facebook post that Dao was no more "irate or belligerent than any weary passenger after a long day of travel would be."

"He was irritated as any passenger would be, questioning why he was chosen and explaining that he was a doctor and had patients to see in the morning," Cummings wrote. "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."

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Stacey Leasca

Stacey Leasca is a news writer with Mic. Her byline has appeared in Travel+Leisure, the Los Angeles Times, GOOD Magazine and more. When not writing you can find her surfing in Southern California.

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