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'Just Kill Me': Police Detail Doctor's Removal From United Flight

Four Chicago Aviation Police officers have been placed on leave since the incident April 9, which was recorded on video that rapidly went viral.
Image: A video screengrab shows passenger David Dao being dragged off a United Airlines flight at Chicago O'Hare International Airport
David Dao being dragged off a United Airlines flight at O'Hare International Airport in viral video recorded April 9.@JayseDavid / Reuters

David Dao, the doctor whose forcible removal from a flight this month set off a fierce backlash against United Airlines, told police, "Just kill me — I want to go home," according to investigative reports released Monday.

At least four Chicago Aviation Police officers have been placed on administrative leave since the April 9 incident at O'Hare International Airport, which was recorded on video that rapidly went viral.

And one of the officers had been suspended for five days for a separate incident of insubordination just two weeks before the incident, according to employment records obtained by NBC News under the Freedom of Information Act.

According to statements filed by the aviation police officers — which noted that they were being submitted involuntarily under threat of dismissal — authorities used "minimal but necessary force" to remove Dao from the flight to Louisville, Kentucky.

The officers couldn't immediately be reached for comment Monday night.

United has said Dao and his wife, who said she is also a physician, were randomly selected for involuntarily removal when four Republic Airline employees demanded seats so they could get to their next assignment.

One of the officers wrote that when authorities tried to remove Dao from his seat, he "started swinging his arms up and down fast and violently."

But a separate report filed by Chicago police says only that "Dr. Dao folded his arms across his body and refused to move from his seat."

Dao broke free of an officer's grip, causing him to lose his balance and fall, according to the investigative reports. Dao was treated overnight at a hospital for unspecified injuries, which his attorney, Thomas Demetrio, said included two lost teeth, a broken nose and a "significant" concussion.

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Chicago police and aviation police accounts agree that Dao informed the officers that he was a physician who couldn't miss seeing patients the next day. According to some of the accounts, he said: "I'm not leaving this flight that I paid money for. I don't care if I get arrested."

After he was dragged through the airplane's aisle, Dao said he was diabetic and was allowed to lie down on the floor, according to aviation police. But then, according to the documents, he ran to the back of the aircraft, clasped himself to a pole and said: "I'm not getting off the plane. Just kill me. I want to go home."

Oscar Munoz, chief executive of United Continental Holdings, United's parent company, has said no one would be fired over the incident.

United told NBC News on Monday: "Our focus right now is reviewing our policies and making this right for our customers so something like this doesn't happen again."

Demetrio called the one-sentence statement "utter nonsense." He told NBC News that he intends to sue the airline, saying, "We're hoping that Dr. Dao being taken off that plane like a sack of potatoes is going to resonate with people."