Seattle Police Officer Daniel Auderer reassigned

Sep 28, 2023, 3:56 PM | Updated: 7:07 pm

spd auderer...

(MyNorthwest File Photo)

(MyNorthwest File Photo)

The Seattle Police Department (SPD) has reassigned Officer Daniel Auderer, the police officer who made inappropriate comments over the death of Jaahnavi Kandula, to a different position, according to a short statement issued via email Thursday to KIRO Newsradio.

“(Officer) Auderer has been administratively re-assigned to a non-operational position,” the statement said.

The department issued the same statement to The Seattle Times Thursday.

Auderer was assigned to perform a routine sobriety test on Officer Kevin Dave on Jan. 23. Dave is who struck Kandula, a 23-year-old graduate student, while driving his police car 74 miles per hour in a 25 mph zone while he was headed to a drug overdose call. He started braking less than a second before hitting Kandula, according to a detective’s report. The report said Dave was driving 63 mph when he hit the woman and that his speed didn’t allow Kandula or Dave sufficient time to “detect, address and avoid a hazard that presented itself.”

The SUV’s emergency lights had been activated, and Dave had “chirped” his siren at other intersections and used it immediately before the collision, the report said, adding Kandula was thrown 138 feet.

“She is dead,” Auderer was heard saying on a phone call with Seattle Police Officers Guild (SPOG) President Mike Solan, according to captured bodycam footage.  He said a check for $11,000 should just be written. “She was 26 anyway. She had limited value,” Auderer said.

Auderer was also heard laughing during the phone call and the recorded comments.

Jason Rantz’s piece on Auderer’s comments: SPOG releases apology after video captures officer’s out-of-context statements

But Auderer did not know his body camera video had recorded the conversation, which he later admitted in a statement for Seattle’s Office of Police Accountability (OPA). In the statement, Auderer also said that he intended the comment to be interpreted “as a mockery of lawyers.”

In addition to being a police officer, Auderer is the vice president of SPOG.

Seattle police union’s response

In a statement released earlier this month, SPOG noted the comments were “horrifying and has no place in a civil society” when taken out of context.

The union also claimed in its letter that “viral videos of police actions shared by media, fail to explain the full story/context.” Between the statement and the letter, the word “context” was used five times.

“The video captures only one side of the conversation,” the letter also reads. “There is much more detail and nuance that has not been made public yet.”

Group’s request: Seattle police chief asked to suspend officer for offensive comments

SPOG emphasized Auderer “self-reported” his actions to the Office of Police Accountability, but SPD has not said who originally brought the controversial video to the attention of the department.

“I am willing to accept any reasonable discipline our accountability partners and the chief of police wish to hand down,” Auderer’s letter concluded.

There are two ongoing investigations from OPA happening. 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.

The King County Prosecutor is reviewing the original patrol car crash and considering whether to pursue charges against Officer Dave.

Outrage over the incident went international, including protests around Seattle and a demand from the Consulate General of India in San Francisco for OPA to further investigate Kandula’s death.

Contributing: Heather Bosch and Sam Campbell, KIRO Newsradio; The Associated Press; Bill Kaczaraba, Steve Coogan

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