Pro-Trump activist Brandon Straka was removed from an American Airlines flight for refusing to wear a mask in an incident caught on video by New York Times reporter Astead Herndon on Wednesday.
The ejection on a flight from New York’s LaGuardia Airport to Dallas Fort-Worth occurred Wednesday morning and was recorded by Herndon, who serves as a Times national political reporter and CNN political analyst.
The video has been viewed more than 500,000 times on Twitter.
“Sir, are you wishing not to wear a mask today?” a flight attendant asked Straka
“I would prefer not to,” Straka replied before later adding, “You’re asking me to do something that’s not a law.”
The flight attendant responded by explaining that the request is part of a “procedure American Airlines follows.”
There is currently no law that mandates passengers must wear masks while on a flight, but all major U.S. airlines, including American, announced on May 11 new policies that call on all passengers and flight crew members to wear face coverings. Exceptions are provided for children, people with certain medical conditions and for while passengers are eating and drinking.
Straka told the flight attendant he had a medical condition, but did not specify what the condition was and did not provide any documentation regarding it. He was eventually ejected from the flight after a delay, drawing applause from passengers.
“This is insane. Absolutely insane,” Straka in a Periscope video after the ejection. “We don’t even have a choice anymore.”