Not on their watch, United!
Port Authority cops vowed Thursday to not aid airlines in the forced removal of passengers when a flight is overbooked or if they need to make room for crew members like United did when they got officers in Chicago to forcibly drag a doctor from his seat and off a plane last weekend.
“If/when an airline representative calls your respective command for such assistance, the Tour Commander or Commanding Officer will inform the airline this is an internal, non-law enforcement related matter and the PAPD will not respond to this type of request,” Superintendent Michael Fedorko wrote in a policy statement.
“This action will be documented in CAD (Computer Aided Dispatch) and timely notification will be made,” he said. “As with all operational response matters, however, please examine each instance on a case-by-case basis to determine the totality of the incident before reacting or responding.”
Port Authority cops are ultimately in charge of policing all three of the area’s major airports — Newark Liberty International, JFK International and LaGuardia.
The orders on Thursday, which echo the department’s already existing protocol, come as United deals with the universal backlash from the Dr. David Dao incident last weekend.
After refusing to give up his seat for a crew member, who needed to catch a connecting flight, the 69-year-old was violently removed from the plane he was on by airport cops.
The encounter left him with several injuries, including a concussion and the loss of two front teeth.
“There hasn’t been an incident in memory here like the one in Chicago, but the Port Authority felt it important to reiterate the Port Authority’s stand on the matter,” a Port Authority spokesman said.
United later apologized for the Dao incident after they tried several times to blame the doctor, himself.