More protests following Seattle police comments after death of Jaahnavi Kandula

Sep 18, 2023, 12:14 PM | Updated: 2:30 pm

Image: Student Jaahnavi Kandula...

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

(Photo courtesy of Jaahnavi Kandula's GoFundMe)

There were more protests around Seattle last weekend over comments made by Seattle police after a university student was struck and killed by a police cruiser.

Jaahnavi Kandula, who was a student on the Seattle campus at Northeastern University, was walking in a Seattle crosswalk Jan. 23 when Officer Kevin Dave hit and killed her.

The protests stem from the release of a body camera video in which Officer Daniel Auderer is heard joking, making a comment about the city issuing a check.

“Yeah, just write a check. Just $11,000,” he is heard on the video. “She was 26. Anyway, she had limited value.”

More on Auderer’s comments: Seattle Police’s union reacts to officer’s controversial comments captured on video

Auderer, who is vice president of the Seattle Police Officers Guild (SPOG), accidentally left his body camera running when he was talking with union President Mike Solan.

Members of the Seattle South Asian community have been leading the protests.

“How can you put money on a life?” one told KIRO 7. “How can you call a life just worth a mere several thousand dollars?”

Community members met with Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell and Seattle Police Chief Adrian Diaz about the video. The Seattle Times reports those community members don’t want to defund the police, but they’re calling for better training for police and that they need to stay engaged with the South Asian community.

The mayor did previously issue a statement apologizing to the Indian community over the comments but distanced the city from the video, saying those remarks were not reflective of Seattle or any of the communities that call it home.

Gee & Ursula on Auderer’s comments: Police culture to blame for comments on woman killed by SPD car

There are two ongoing investigations from the Office of Police Accountability (OPA) that are taking place concerning the incident. One is about the officer who struck and killed Kandula. Another is looking into Auderer’s comments.

There are conflicting reports on what spawned the second investigation into Auderer’s comments.

On one hand, there are reports Auderer had self-reported himself to the OPA, but in the statement from the police department, they said the body camera video was discovered during routine business and then reported.

Contributing: KIRO 7

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