Another Side to the #BumpGate Story: One Officer’s Account of What Happened
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Although it’s been more than two weeks since the #Bumpgate incident involving Dr. David Dao on United Airlines Flight 3411, few details outside of the original video have been released. We know that the airport security officers who dragged Dao out of his seat and down the aisle were suspended, but few other details about what led up to the gruesome situation weren’t previously available.
However, The Associated Press obtained the officer’s report of the incident from the Chicago Department of Aviation through a Freedom of Information Act request. And, just like the AA stroller incident, there is more than one side to every story.
In the report, the officer who was seen in the video dragging Dao down the aisle, James Long, shares his point of view on what happened. Long says in the report that he boarded the plane after being called in to respond to a disturbance when two people (one of whom, now known to be Dao) refused to leave the plane when four airline employees needed to board to get to Louisville. When Long boarded the plane, he said that Dao refused and “folded his arms tightly.” Long said that he then reached out to “hold” Dao and pulled him away from the window seat and toward the aisle until “… suddenly the subject started flailing and fighting.”
According to Long’s report, Dao knocked Long’s hand off his arm and a struggle ensued, causing Dao to fall across the aisle and hit his head on the opposite armrest. Then, because Dao allegedly refused to stand up, Long dragged him down the aisle and off the plane.
Then, Long’s report answered one of the largest remaining questions: How did Dao get back on the plane after originally being removed? According to Long’s report, once the group was in the gangway back to the gate, Dao said he was a diabetic and ran back onto the plane while telling the group of security officers that they’d have to kill him.
Since the incident unfolded, details of the aftermath and how it went down have been coming out in small bits. In a press conference, Dao’s daughter and lawyer spoke out and said that Dao suffered a concussion, broken nose, the loss of two front teeth and will have to undergo reconstructive surgery. In addition, just this week, Dao’s lawyer again spoke out — this time to the “Today Show.” In the interview, he noted that there will be a lawsuit, however, there was no clue given as to how much compensation Dao is seeking.
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