Just released: Audio of United Airlines’ call for help

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A surveillance video and audio recording have emerged that shed new light on the events that led up to passenger Dr. David Dao’s being infamously dragged off a United Airlines flight in Chicago on April 9.

Police reports were released in response to a Freedom of Information Act request filed by The New York Times, which include audio recordings of the original call made to the Chicago Department of Aviation and personnel reports describing Dao as being aggressive and fighting with officers.

According to the reports, an officer identified as James Long tried to remove Dr. Dao from the flight and said he “attempted to assist the subject off his seat with two hands, but the subject started swinging his arms up and down fast and violently.”

After the passenger was removed from his seat, the report states, “The subject then started flailing his arms and started to fight with Officer Long. Due to this incident, the subject was able to knock Officer Long’s right hand off the subject’s arm.”

“Consequentially, the subject fell and hit his mouth on the armrest across from him,” the report adds, noting Dr. Dao’s injury.

Another aviation officer, Mauricio Rodriguez said that Long used “minimal but necessary force” to remove the combative passenger.

In the audio recording below, an employee is heard calling the airline to ask for help and saying, “Two passengers are refusing to get off the aircraft when instructed by the agent and also the supervisor.”

“Any information on … were they drinking, were they doing anything like that?” the dispatcher asked.

“No, it’s something with an oversold … and didn’t volunteer or something like that,” said the United Airlines employee.

Dr. Dao had reportedly been one of four passengers selected to give up their seats for four United Airlines employees on the overbooked flight, but he adamantly refused to cooperate.

Listen to the audio recording of the United Airlines employee’s request for help below.

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