Two aviation officers have been fired, and two others suspended , over the forced removal of a United Airlines passenger from his flight.
CNN reports that the employees — three Department of Aviation security officers and a sergeant — were found by Chicago’s Office of Inspector General to have “mishandled a nonthreatening situation that resulted in a physically violent forcible removal of a passenger.”
The probe also found that the officers, none of whom were named in the report, gave “misleading statements and deliberately removed material facts from their reports.”
It was not immediately clear if the disciplined officers included any of the three placed on leave following the incident.
Footage filmed by other passengers showed that aviation officers dragged Dr. David Dao by his hands and feet down the aisle of an Apr. 9 flight bound for Louisville, Kentucky. Dao lost two teeth and broke his nose as a result, and attorneys said he was left deeply traumatized by the episode.
Videos showing the forced removal quickly spread online and caused uproar. United came under fire for how Dao was removed from the flight, as well as for how it initially responded to reports of the incident.
First calling the passenger “disruptive and belligerent” and claiming that the flight was overbooked, the airline later conceded that the flight was not actually overbooked.
Thomas Demetrio, Dao’s attorney, said that the case is “a lesson to be learnt” for law enforcement, reports CNN.
“Do not state something that is clearly contrary to video viewed by the world,” he said.