A video screengrab shows passenger David Dao being dragged off a United Airlines flight at Chicago O'Hare International Airport in this video filmed by @JayseDavid April 9, 2017. Jayse D. Anspach via REUTERS
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A passenger dragged from a United Express flight suffered a "significant" concussion and broken nose, and he lost two front teeth, one of his lawyers said Thursday.The video of a passenger being dragged by an officer from a United Express flight shined an unwanted spotlight on the little-known police force that guards Chicago's two main airports and could threaten the agency's future.Chicago's aviation officers are not part of the regular police force, unlike in many other big cities. At the top of the list of questions is whether the airport officers even had the legal authority to board the plane, said Alderman Michael Zalewski, who leads the council's aviation committee.Zalewski said airport officers receive four months of training compared with the six months cadets must complete before joining the city's police department.The roughly 300 aviation police officers earn between $50,000 and $88,000 a year and cost the city about $19 million a year.The "gate guards" became "aviation security officers" whose uniforms closely resembled those of city police officers, Zalewski said.The city also assigns approximately 200 regular police officers to the two airports, all of them armed.
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