Last week, the U.S. Department of Transportation decided not to pursue civil rights charges against United Airlines for its mistreatment of passenger David Dao, the 69-year-old physician dragged off a United flight in April. United broke Dao’s nose, gave him a concussion, and knocked out two of his teeth. It also made him an Internet celebrity—the video of Chicago “aviation security officers” dragging him from his seat has been viewed over five million times.
The DOT decision may seem outrageous—one flyers’ advocate called it a “dereliction of duty”—but it is a sensible act of prosecutorial discretion that should be applauded, notwithstanding the harm Dao suffered.
If every broken nose resulted in a federal case, the resources of our courts and administrative agencies would be exhausted pursuing matters better deterred through other means. The feds should act only where others cannot or will not, or where markets don’t work. The Dao incident was a case in which the wrongdoer got what was coming to them without involving the expensive and fear-inducing machinery of Washington.
Read more at Fortune.com