It’s been a whirlwind day for United Airlines, which has been under fire after videos emerged of law enforcement literally dragging a 69-year-0ld Asian passenger off the Sunday evening flight out of Chicago that they overbooked. Now, though, the Chicago Police Department is joining in the tone-deaf response.
After United all but refused to confirm that the customer, who hasn’t been publicly identified, was violently removed–leaving him disoriented and his faced bloodied–Chicago police, who were called in by the airline, said Monday afternoon that the man “fell” as he was being pulled off the plane, causing injuries to his face.
New shocking video of the incident shows the man with blood on his face repeatedly saying “I have to go home” and “just kill me.”
The incident began after United looked for people to give up their seats on a flight to Louisville that was overbooked. (Airlines typically sell more tickets than are available as a way to maximize profit). Audra Bridges, the passenger who recorded the first video, told the Louisville Courier Journal that airline staff first offered $400 and a hotel stay to passengers willing to switch their tickets for a flight at 3 p.m. the next day. That sum went up to $800 when there were no takers. United staff eventually got down to randomly selecting passengers to get the boot, and the man in the videos was forcibly removed by CPD police after he refused to leave the plane.
Update, 3:08 pm ET: One of the officers involved in the altercation has been placed on leave, according to a tweet from an ABC journalist.