India officials want probe after release of Seattle Police bodycam video

Sep 15, 2023, 5:02 AM | Updated: 5:45 am

Image: Student Jaahnavi Kandula...

Student Jaahnavi Kandula (Photo courtesy of Jaahnavi Kandula's GoFundMe)

(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.

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The post added the Consulate General has “taken up the matter strongly” with authorities in Seattle, the state of Washington and Washington, D.C.

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.”

From Jason Rantz: Bodycam video released of Seattle police officer’s out-of-context statements

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.

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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.

Follow Heather Bosch on X, formerly known as Twitter, or email her.

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India officials want probe after release of Seattle Police bodycam video