- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 18, 2017

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Officers involved in a widely reported April manhandling of a United Airlines passenger they forcibly removed were just fired by Chicago Department of Aviation administrators.

But the two who lost their jobs were not named. Why not?

What makes these men worthy of such protection?

Not a thing.

Here’s the backstory: In April, a video went viral of airplane officials dragging a screaming, bloodied and bruised Dr. David Dao down the aisle of his United Airlines jet, at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport.

The airline said Dao and his wife had been bumped for crew members.

Dao’s injuries from the ordeal were substantial. He suffered a concussion and several facial injuries.

The Chicago Inspector General’s Office kicked off an investigation into the matter, concluding just recently that the video of the scene was not cleverly edited in any way to make the agents purposely look bad — that they in fact had “mishandled” the situation and used excessive force. On top of that, the IG found that these agents’ higher-ups “made misleading statements and deliberately removed material facts from their reports.”

So to its credit, Chicago’s Department of Aviation acted quickly, and fired the two officers who had physically dragged Dao down the aisle, and suspended two others involved in the coverup.

But none were named.

None of the four fired and suspended officials were publicly named.

In other words — they’ve been punished for their misdeeds, which include physical assault and deception — but have been spared the public shaming that often goes along with such crimes.

You think an average American caught on video acting in such an aggressive manner toward another on an airline, and later apprehended, would be allowed to remain anonymous by disciplining authorities?

Doubtful.

The fact these four have been disciplined and called to account for their actions is commendable. But it’s not enough. Letting them keep their names out of the public domain is an act of protection that’s not warranted. It sends the message that those who work the government-tied systems are separate and above the regular folk, worthy of special treatment and privilege.

They’re not. The four who’ve been disciplined in this egregious matter ought to be named and shamed — just like any other criminal type who is found guilty of a similar act of physical aggression and coverup.

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