MYNORTHWEST NEWS

Seattle police chief asked to suspend officer for offensive comments

Sep 21, 2023, 9:53 AM | Updated: 9:56 am

Photo: Seattle police department vehicle...

Seattle police department vehicle (Image courtesy of KIRO 7)

(Image courtesy of KIRO 7)

After lengthy discussion, members of Seattle’s Community Police Commission have asked Police Chief Adrian Diaz to suspend officer Dan Auderer, who was heard laughing and making rude comments about a woman struck and killed by a police car in January.

The comments were inadvertently recorded by Officer Auderer’s body cam, and were first found by an SPD employee, who turned them over to superiors.

The Office of Police Accountability (OPA) is now investigating the context in which the statements were made.

Related story: More protests following Seattle police comments after death of Jaahnavi Kandula

Seattle’s Community Police Commission, tasked with making recommendations to SPD regarding department policy met Wednesday, to discuss the situation and called for Auderer’s immediate suspension – for an indefinite time and without pay.

Commission Co-Chair Joel Merkel explains the reasoning for the request:

“We have concerns about his ability to equitably, accurately and without bias do his job to investigate cases, and that causes concern for public safety”.

Officer Auderer maintains he laughed and made rude remarks about Jaahnavi Kandula, who had just been hit by an SPD cruiser speeding to a call in January, because he was mocking what he thought a city attorney might say to settle a claim about her death.

The person Auderer says he was talking with on that call, was Seattle Police Officer’s Guild President Mike Solan. Auderer is the Guild’s Vice President.

Merkel says the commission considered the explanation for the remarks as they made their decision to recommend Auderer’s suspension.

He says they noted the laughter and joking recorded by officer Dan Auderer’s body cam aren’t the only concerning remarks that were made.

“Some of his observations of the speed of the officer that struck the pedestrian, and how far she was thrown are vastly different from what investigators found”, he said. “So that’s the bias that we’re talking about.”

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Seattle police chief asked to suspend officer for offensive comments