Two more Chicago Department of Aviation security officers were placed on leave Wednesday as outrage grows after a 69-year-old man was injured as he was dragged off an overbooked United Airlines flight at O'Hare International Airport.
The department had already put one officer on leave pending an investigation into how physician David Dao's refusal to give up his seat Sunday spiraled into a scuffle that sent him to the hospital and sparked international outrage over the erosion of flyers' rights.
The CDA is "reviewing the details surrounding the incident. As part of our review, two additional officers have been placed on administrative leave until further notice. The employees' collective bargaining agreement prohibits the CDA from releasing their names at this time," spokeswoman Karen Pride said.
The debacle started after United Airlines gate agents started to draft passengers after no volunteers stepped up to give up their seats on Flight 3411 to Louisville.
Video taken by flyers shows three officers converging on Dao, yanking him out of his seat and dragging him down the aisle. His face is bleeding with bruises or cuts.
Dao is recovering from his injuries in a Chicago hospital and a news conference is planned Thursday with his attorneys and a family member. Dao's daughter lives in Barrington.
The event sent United into damage control-mode after CEO Oscar Munoz initially told employees they had acted appropriately and followed standard procedures. He quickly shifted amid threats of congressional action and public outcries, apologizing profusely on Tuesday for the "horrific event."
Meanwhile suburban Democratic U.S. Reps. Jan Schakowsky of Evanston and Daniel Lipinski of Western Springs are considering legislation to prevent forcible evictions from airplanes in such cases.
Activists protested Tuesday night at the United terminal at O'Hare saying the violence represented a pattern of abuse against minorities by the aviation industry.