New Video: Passenger Was Calm Before Being Dragged off United Flight

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United Bump Gate Video

I just came across a new video that shows what happened in the minutes before the infamous United passenger dragging situation the other day. In the video you can see that the passenger (Dr. Dao) is calm when talking to the officer. He says he has to see patients, at one points says he will sue United Airlines and he even says he would rather go to jail than voluntarily get off.

The officer also clearly threatens the passenger by saying that he will have to drag him off of the airplane despite the passenger being very calm at the time. There is a jump in the video, so we don’t see every moment, but this video clearly shows the passenger wasn’t belligerent.

What do you think? Does this change your opinion of what happened? Have you seen any other videos that show the correspondence with officers before Dr. David Dao was dragged off?

HT: @Chadster on Twitter

Shawn Coomer
Since 2007 Shawn Coomer has been circling the globe with his family for pennies on the dollar. He uses that first-hand knowledge and experience to teach others how to achieve their travel dreams for the least amount of money possible.

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  1. You can already tell from the statement made by United’s CEO what their policy change is going to be. The only thing that will change is that United will kick you off of the flight before you board rather than wait until you are seated. Overbookings will continue as usual.

  2. Has anyone noticed that the officer didn’t even bother to raise the armrest before dragging the man out? He pulls the man right over it – that must have been incredibly painful!

    • Karen, do you think he cared? Most people did what Tom said “if a law enforcement officer tells you to do something, refusal to do it IS belligerence, plain and simple” that why the officer is easy to get mad since “refusal to do it IS belligerence, plain and simple”

      • @Hoang – Of course he didn’t care – my point was the officer did absolutely nothing to mitigate injury or harm to the passenger.

        • Karen,

          I agree 100%, sorry I should say clearer just wanted to add my points about some law enforcement in this country. Reading the blogs, people form Europe thinks we have less right when we deal with the police.

  3. @Tom, under that mindset if the officer tells you recording via phone is illegal and tells you to stop, you would just accept it as fact?

    • Yes disobeying a police officers order is a crime. U can be charged with obstruction and interfering with a police investigation. Just because what ur doing is legal doesn’t mean a police officer can’t find a legal loophole to arrest u. Try it out and see if u don’t end up I jail. Proving ur more macho than a police officer is a dumb way to get arrested.

  4. This video seems to start way after the discussions have taken place. Although he seems fairly calm he still is resistant and is disobeying a direct “nice” order several times from law enforcement officials which wouldn’t have shown up until way after the discussions with the crew, gate, etc.
    The other news on this passenger is that he has a criminal record that shows his history of disregard for the law which makes me think he wouldn’t respect officers anyway. They didn’t know that at the time of course.
    Either way he was treated badly starting when they wanted him to give up his seat.

    • Who told you he has a criminal record? That is false information. Maybe spread around by United. The criminal record belongs to a doctor with a similar name, but not him.

    • Wow! DaninMCI your comment “The other news on this passenger is that he has a criminal record that shows his history of disregard for the law which makes me think he wouldn’t respect officers anyway.” is highly prejudicial here. His criminal record (or otherwise) has zero bearing here. The officers did not know neither did the airline so for you to claim that he is disregarding the officers because of his past history is plain ridiculous.

      • R u serious? His criminal record is relevant. Shows a pattern of this guy thinking the rules don’t apply to him since he is a doctor and not a normy like the rest of us. He had to be at work cuz he’s important.

    • Wow! DaninMCI judgmental much?

      What does his criminal record (or lack of) have to do with anything that happened to him? Was it used as a basis for his treatment?

      You seem to have made up your mind about him (and his regard or lack thereof for police and those in authority) based on his criminal record from your comments and i quote “The other news on this passenger is that he has a criminal record that shows his history of disregard for the law which makes me think he wouldn’t respect officers anyway. ”

      So because one has a criminal record makes one have a disregard for the law?

    • Seriously, even if he did have a criminal record, how is that relevant even in the slightest?? It means using excessive force to drag a guy off a plane is justified? Every time I read someone try to justify or bring up his (supposed) history I just SMDH.

  5. The thing is, if a law enforcement officer tells you to do something, refusal to do it IS belligerence, plain and simple.

    • I think that is a bit too simplistic. Not saying the guy should not have done what the officer said but equating non-conformance with belligerence is wrong in my opinion. There is plenty of fault with all parities here.

    • This exactly. You don’t have to raise your voice to be belligerent. He should have gotten off before it went this far.

    • Ever hear of non-violent resistance. If we lived according to your ways their would never have been a civil rights movement. I don’t want to compare the way that the airline industry treats passengers to the way that African-Americans have been historically treated. I just want to say that there are non-violent means to protest an injustice. Hopefully, this negative publicity will lead to more protections for flyers in the future.

      • Your right, the next time a police officer tries to pull you over for something you feel is unjustified, why don’t you just keep on driving in a non aggressive way. See how that works out for you!

        The point here is that everyone, whether police officers, teachers, officials at a sporting game all make mistakes. We are humans and not perfect. However, as part of society we need people to listen to authority figures, even if they are sometimes wrong. Otherwise, society as a whole breaks down if everyone is allowed to decide for themselves when to listen and when not to.

        In this situation, what you need to do is listen to the authority figure (even if they are wrong) and work to rectify the situation afterward.

        Any yes, the passenger’s criminal record is relevant. Since we all weren’t there, we have to judge the person based on his past. A criminal record shows this person does not have regard for the law and it shows he feels he can ignore the law if it suits his needs.

        • Jason, I agree with you in this case and in your example. However, I don’t like the term “if a law enforcement officer tells you to do something, refusal to do it IS belligerence, plain and simple”, I won’t do it if they tell me doing something illegal. Jason, did you watch TV or read the news about teacher ran away with a young girl, so you think she did the right thing to listen to the teacher? How many boys in this country were sexually abuse because they obey/listen to the priests? The girls in gymnastic team did listen to author figures by having nasty doctor touched their private parts.

          • Hoang: I can definitely see where you are coming from, but your example is a little off in making a parallel, IMO. Each of your examples were of a person of authority (teacher to student, doctor to patient, priest to altar boy, etc) using their position to force or coerce someone into doing something that is against the law (and for their own gain). Oddly enough, it sounds a little like why Dr. Dao has some history with the legal system…. Anyway, the law enforcement officer was asking Dr. Dao to comply with a request from the airlines to exit the airplane–a request that United has every legal right to do, so the law enforcement officer was NOT using their position of authority to force or coerce Dr. Dao into doing something illegal.

            I feel that United could have avoided the situation entirely had they handled it better (like offer more money!). Regardless, any time you decide to *make* a law enforcement officer FORCE you to comply with their command, you run the risk of physical injury because your lack of compliance means they WILL resort to some level of physical force.


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