An officer who dragged a passenger off a United Airlines flight has been placed on leave, a Chicago Aviation Department representative told Business Insider on Monday.
A video showing three officers forcibly removing a man from a plane traveling from Chicago to Louisville went viral on Monday, sparking outrage on social media.
The man was removed after refusing to give up his seat on the flight, the Aviation Department said in a statement.
United says it first asked for volunteers to leave the plane in exchange for $800, but when no one volunteered, it told several passengers to leave.
When the man refused to give up his seat, the officers pulled him off the plane, resulting in injuries to his face. The man was treated at a local hospital.
"The incident on United Flight 3411 was not in accordance with our standard operating procedure, and the actions of the aviation security officer are obviously not condoned by the department," a representative for the Aviation Department wrote in an email to Business Insider. "That officer has been placed on leave effective today pending a thorough review of the situation."
The representative did not clarify why only one of the three officers was placed on leave. They said an investigation was ongoing.
The officers who were involved work for the Aviation Department, which is not affiliated with the Chicago Police Department, a Police Department representative told Business Insider.
United Airlines provided this statement to Business Insider:
"Flight 3411 from Chicago to Louisville was overbooked. After our team looked for volunteers, one customer refused to leave the aircraft voluntarily and law enforcement was asked to come to the gate. We apologize for the overbook situation. Further details on the removed customer should be directed to authorities."
United CEO Oscar Munoz released a statement about the incident as well:
"This is an upsetting event to all of us here at United. I apologize for having to re-accommodate these customers. Our team is moving with a sense of urgency to work with the authorities and conduct our own detailed review of what happened. We are also reaching out to this passenger to talk directly to him and further address and resolve this situation."