India officials want probe after release of Seattle Police bodycam video
Sep 15, 2023, 5:02 AM | Updated: 5:45 am
(Photo courtesy of Jaahnavi Kandula's GoFundMe)
A controversial video of a Seattle police officer laughing after the death of a graduate student from India is now an international incident.
The Consulate General of India in San Francisco is demanding an investigation into the death of Jaahnavi Kandula, calling it “deeply troubling” in a post to the social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter.
More on the SPD bodycam footage: City officials ‘disgusted’ by SPD bodycam footage, said ‘fix the culture’
The post added the Consulate General has “taken up the matter strongly” with authorities in Seattle, the state of Washington and Washington, D.C.
Recent reports including in media of the handling of Ms Jaahnavi Kandula’s death in a road accident in Seattle in January are deeply troubling. We have taken up the matter strongly with local authorities in Seattle & Washington State as well as senior officials in Washington DC
— India in SF (@CGISFO) September 13, 2023
The posts don’t mention the Seattle Police Department (SPD) body camera video of Officer Dan Auderer on the night Kandula was hit and killed by a Seattle patrol car on Jan. 23. He was called to the scene to do a drug recognition test on Officer Kevin Dave, who was driving the patrol car that struck Kandula.
But the video has reached the broader Indian community.
“What has left people shocked and angry, is the video of the cop mocking the 23-year-old’s death,” an anchorwoman stated in a “One India in English” video that was uploaded to YouTube.
Captured in the bodycam video, Auderer can be heard laughing and saying, “Just write a check — $11,000. She was 26 anyway. She had limited value.”
Auderer, who is the vice president of the Seattle Police Officers Guild (SPOG), was on the phone with the president of the police union at the time. He said he was mocking lawyers when he appeared to question the value of Kandula’s life.
More from Heather Bosch: Wash. rape kits nearly 100% processed, despite immense backlog
The Office of Police Accountability is investigating the bodycam footage. The King County Prosecutor’s office is also conducting a review of the crash.
A GoFundMe for Jaahnavi Kandula’s family has been set up on the platform.