by Davey D
One thing we should not forget is that the actual perpetrators of the violence on the Asian doctor brutalized and dragged from his seat on a United Airlines flight was done by Chicago Aviation Security, which is different from Chicago Police. Both patrol Chicago airports. One gets to carry weapons, the other doesn’t. But personnel from both all graduated from the police academy. Check out how all this plays out.
Many reporters called Chicago police to get a statement about how their officers handled the incident. Most didn’t know there were two agencies. Instead of remaining silent, distancing themselves or letting folks know they were two different agencies, Chicago police released a statement saying that the Asian passenger became irate and the cuts he received were a result of him falling on himself. In short, they blamed the doctor for his own injuries.
First, the video shows that to be a blatant lie. Second, this is the same Chicago police department under fire for having lied and covered up the police shooting death of Laquan McDonald.
This is the same Chicago police who have a black site prison where thousands have been tortured and brutalized called Homan Square.
This is the same Chicago police department that Attorney General Jeff Session wants to remove any federal oversight claiming there is no systemic violence or systemic wrongdoing with police.
As for Chicago Aviation Security, one of the officers involved in removing the doctor is on “PAID leave” even though his department said he didn’t follow proper procedure.
Now this incident has made international news and has multiple witnesses who videotaped the incident. Many are outraged at United. They are angry at the police and siding with the doctor. All eyes on United and Chicago. But what if this was a lone Black or Brown driver, like a Sandra Bland?
Or a young teenage girl at a pool party being manhandled by police in McKinney, Texas?
Or a teenage girl in South Carolina being flipped from her chair in class by school police? How would we all be viewing this incident? Better yet, how did we view those incidents?
One could easily be smug and flippant and say that poor elderly doctor should’ve complied with police. One could easily have taken the police account, as egregiously wrong and misleading as it was, and run with it like it was the gospel truth. After all, that’s been done time and time again in the past.
We are all upset about inexcusable wrongdoing as we should be. We are all upset about United Airlines as we should be, but that’s low hanging fruit. It’s easy to smash down on the airlines – and, again, they deserve the backlash.
But the actual brutality was carried out by officers from one department and backed up by a blatant lie issued by officers from another – which is under a federal consent decree. Let that sink in for a minute and let’s see if accountability will really happen beyond a paid suspension. Let’s see if accountability will happen over the lie told by Chicago Police.
All this comes on the heels of a judge siding with police in Baltimore last month allowing them to go after and sue prosecutor Marilyn Mosby for “malicious prosecution” because she put six officers on trial over the killing of Freddy Gray. She is being sued by those officers, who were all acquitted.
But the actual brutality was carried out by officers from one department and backed up by a blatant lie issued by officers from another. Let that sink in for a minute and let’s see if accountability will really happen beyond a paid suspension.
Let’s not overlook the larger picture in play around this horrific incident with United Airlines.
Davey D can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Facebook. Visit his website, Davey D’s Hip Hop Corner, and his blog, Hip Hop and Politics, and listen to him weekdays at 4 p.m. on KPFA’s Hard Knock Radio.
Democracy Now’s April 12 update: “United Airlines has finally apologized, after stocks temporarily plummeted Tuesday, amid controversy over a video of a doctor being forcibly dragged off a flight United had overbooked. When no passengers volunteered to disembark from Sunday’s flight, Dr. David Dao was selected to be forced off. When he refused to leave, saying he had to see patients at a hospital in Kentucky the following morning, multiple Chicago Department of Aviation security officers dragged Dao through the aisle, bloodying him. He tried to run back on the flight and was forcibly removed a second time. United CEO Oscar Muñoz first defended the company’s actions, claiming Dao was ‘disruptive and belligerent,’ but then finally apologized Tuesday, calling the incident ‘horrific.’ New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has called for an investigation of the airline. Dao is still hospitalized in Chicago from his injuries.”