A shocking video of a US cop has come out where he was caught laughing and making jokes about a young Indian woman who was killed by his colleague Officer Kevin Dave on earlier this year. On Monday, the Seattle Police Department released footage from accused officer Daniel Auderer’s body camera. On this, the Consulate General of India in San Francisco has raised concerns over the handling of an Indian-origin woman, Jaahnavi Kandula, who was killed by a police vehicle, and has also demanded a through investigation and action against those involved.
Who was Jaahnavi Kandula?
Jaahnavi Kandula, daughter of a single mother hailed from Andhra Pradesh. She was pursuing her master’s degree at Northeastern University in Seattle and went to the US in 2021 from Bengaluru on a student exchange program. Her uncle Ashok Mandula had told Seattle Times in January that Jaahnavi was due to graduate in December this year.
What did the released footage from accused officer Daniel Auderer’s body camera show
On 23 January, Kevin Dave struck and killed Jaahnavi Kandula, 23, in a crosswalk. Dave was driving 74 mph (119 kmh) on the way to an overdose call, and Auderer, a drug recognition expert, was assigned to evaluate whether Dave was impaired, The Seattle Times reported.
Afterward, Auderer left his body-worn camera on as he called guild President Mike Solan to report what happened. In a recording released by the police department on Monday, who serves as vice president of the Seattle Police Officers Guild, is driving and was heard talking about the accident that involved 23-year-old graduate student Kandula in a call with the guild’s president Mike Solan.
In the video, Auderer can be heard saying “she is dead” before bursting out into laughter. Referring to Kandula, Auderer said, “No, it’s a regular person.” Towards the end of the clip, he can be heard saying, through bursts of laughter, “Yeah, just write a check. Eleven thousand dollars. She was 26 anyway,” misstating the age of the victim. He further said, “She had limited value,”.
How the police officer on the scene reacted?
TheSeattle Times said that officer Auderer was called to the scene and his body camera recorded audio from a call he made to a colleague.
“But she is dead,” the officer is heard saying before laughing. “No, it’s a regular person. Yeah, just write a cheque,” he says, before laughing again.
“Eleven thousand dollars. She was 26, anyway. She had limited value.”
After the Seattle Police Department released the footage on Monday, it led to outrage on social media. “Sue the Police department…that’s how they will learn to respect dead,” User said.
“If this was an American citizen killed on Indian soil then USA would have shaken up Indian government to the roots! Those policemen should be punished in prison or their licence should be permanently suspended,” said another.
What officer Audrer said after the outrage?
Officer Auderer said his comments were taken out of context. Jason Rantz, a radio host, said he has a written statement from the police officer saying his comments were meant to mimic how city attorneys might try to minimise liability for the woman’s death.
But Mr Kandula’s family is surprised why this information was not revealed earlier. “We have lost our child but this is beyond shocking,” her grandfather told.