Proposed Ordinance Would Change Who Can Board Flights in Chicago

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Lawmakers in Chicago are considering a measure to change who can board a passenger plane.

The measure comes after a passenger was violently dragged off a United Airlines flight last month in Chicago. The passenger was removed from the plane by Chicago Aviation Police. Under the proposed measure, all Chicago city employees, including Aviation Police, would be barred from boarding unless it’s a criminal matter or medical emergency.

“Our employees should not be assisting airline employees in doing their dirty work,” said Chicago City Council member Ed Burke. Chicago authorities agree with that sentiment.

“Every situation is different,” said Officer Johnny Jimmerson, Chicago Aviation Police. “Nothing is perfect. Law enforcement is not perfect. You do the best you can and we’re very dedicated and it’s a shame that we seem to be considered a scapegoat for this incident.”

The three aviation officers involved in the United incident, as well as a supervisor, have been suspended pending an investigation. Chicago aviation officers are city employees, but are not members of the Chicago Police Department and do not carry guns.

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