United CEO Oscar Munoz said that passenger David Dao was "disruptive and belligerent" when he was told that he was going to be kicked off the plane after he bought a ticket and too his seat. But this newly released video shows Dao to be quite calm and reasonable given the circumstances. In the end, Dao was beaten senseless, his nose was broken, teeth were knocked out, and he suffered a concussion. United filled the empty seat with one of its employees.
From Teen Vogue:
On Monday, a video clip surfaced of Chicago Department of Aviation security officials brutally dragging Dao down the aisle of the plane on Sunday night for refusing to involuntarily give up his seat on a United flight went viral on social media. Shortly after the incident, United CEO Oscar Munoz told employees in an email that Dao had acted "disruptive and belligerent," which, in his words, left officers with no choice. However, passenger Joya Cummings uploaded new footage to Facebook showing the moments leading up to the officers' assault on Dao, and it shows a very different story.
"I'm a physician. I have to work tomorrow at 8 o'clock," he told officers calmly in the video. "No, I am not going. I am not going."
Soon after, officers threatened to "drag [him]" off the plane if he didn't comply. "Then drag me down," Dao told them. "I am staying right there."
Also, it looks like United didn't have the legal right to ask police to remove Dao. From Inc:
A United Airlines spokesperson said that since Dr. Dao refused to give up his seat and leave the plane voluntarily, airline employees "had to" call upon airport security to force him to comply. However, since the flight was not overbooked, United Airlines had no legal right to give his seat to another passenger. In United Airline's Contract of Service, they list the reasons that a passenger may be refused service, many of which are reasonable, such as "failure to pay" or lacking "proof of identity." Nowhere in the terms of service does United Airlines claim to have unilateral authority to refuse service to anyone, for any reason (which would be illegal anyway).