I’m definitely not a lawyer FWIW — I’ve just written and negotiated a lot of contracts in my time (and spent a lot of time understanding this issue). There have been some excellent legal analyses of the CoC that I’ve reviewed — and I’ve built an understanding of these over the years as well. Here are a couple you might want to reference…of course these are also opinions:
We live in a society where everyone is a potential source of video 'news'. Today people tend to reach for their phone…www.natlawreview.com
While it is of course permissible to remove a seated person is such a situation for unruly behavior, drunkenness, to…lawnewz.com
WRT the issue of the pilots’ authority to remove a passenger, I wasn’t arguing that they cannot do it. It’s just that if the reasons for removal don’t fall under some agreed-upon framework, the pilot (and the airline) will be censured and/or sued.
And this is the rub as it relates to both the pilot and the cops. As figures of authority with additional legal rights granted to them (the right to remove passengers and the right to enforce laws with penalty of non-compliance), they must act with discretion and judgement and not exceed their authority of reasonableness. If they don’t, in an era of cameras and social media, they will lose authority and respect.