MYNORTHWEST NEWS

Civilian-led Police Accountability: Seattle cop Auderer violated policy with bodycam-captured comments

Jan 24, 2024, 5:55 AM | Updated: 7:58 am

seattle officer auderer...

A screenshot of Seattle Police Department bodycam footage on Jan. 23, 2023, the night Jaahnavi Kandula was killed. (Photo courtesy of KIRO 7)

(Photo courtesy of KIRO 7)

The Seattle Office of Police Accountability (OPA) claimed Seattle police officer Daniel Auderer violated professional standards after he was captured on camera last year joking about the cost of potential lawsuits regarding a woman’s death.

The OPA-led discipline meeting for Auderer was held Tuesday, with the office’s discipline recommendations being forwarded to Seattle Police Chief Adrian Diaz after the meeting.

“SPD prohibits ‘behavior that undermines public trust,’ including ‘any language that is derogatory, contemptuous or disrespectful toward any person,'” OPA wrote in a release. “It also forbids prejudice or derogatory language about someone’s discernible personal characteristics.”

OPA Director Gino Betts Jr. described Auderer’s words as “derogatory, disturbing and inhumane.”

“The officer’s comments undermined public trust in the department, himself and his colleagues,” Betts said in OPA’s statement. “For many, it confirmed, fairly or not, beliefs that some officers devalue and conceal disparaging views about community members.”

What happened on Jan. 23, 2023

The controversy stems from 23-year-old Jaahnavi Kandula’s death on Jan. 23, 2023. Kandula, who was a student on the Seattle campus at Northeastern University, was walking in a crosswalk when Officer Kevin Dave hit and killed her. The officer was responding to an overdose call when hit her with his SUV.

More on Jaahnavi Kandula: India officials want probe after release of Seattle Police bodycam video

Body camera video captured Officer Daniel Auderer laughing and making comments that night after he was assigned to perform a routine sobriety test on Dave.

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

OPA previously found that Auderer violated the Seattle Police Department’s (SPD) professionalism and bias-based policing policies by laughing about Kandula’s death and making disparaging remarks, prompting the discipline meeting.

More from the SPD: Consent decree between SPD, City of Seattle to ‘partially’ end

Diaz has already pulled Auderer from the field. He was assigned to desk duty within the department.

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Civilian-led Police Accountability: Seattle cop Auderer violated policy with bodycam-captured comments