Closed-door hearing for SPD officer caught laughing after Kandula’s death delayed

Apr 1, 2024, 7:51 AM | Updated: 5:45 pm

Image: A screenshot of Seattle Police Department bodycam footage on Jan. 23, 2023, the night Jaahna...

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)

Editors’ note: A previous version of this story stated the “loudermill hearing” for Officer Daniel Auderer was going to take place Monday. It has been delayed to a later date.

Seattle Police Department (SPD) officer Daniel Auderer, who was caught on body camera laughing after a woman was hit and killed by another officer in early 2023, was going to plead his case to department leadership in a closed-door hearing Monday, but the hearing did not occur.

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

The SPD sent a short statement to MyNorthwest late Monday afternoon indicating the hearing didn’t take place and the department will provide an update as to a new date for a hearing later.

The department sent an email update to KIRO Newsradio last week announcing the hearing was going to take place Monday. But the statement also indicated the Seattle Police Officers Guild “recently made an official request for an extension, so they may gather the necessary documentation relative to his defense. By granting this request, the department ensures the officer’s due process is respected throughout the disciplinary proceedings.”

According to the SPD, the “loudermill hearing” is meant to give Auderer a chance to voice his side of the story before any disciplinary action is taken. (Readers can learn more about loudermill hearings from this King County document.)

The hearing will come months after the Seattle Office of Police Accountability – a civilian-led police watchdog agency – formally recommended discipline for Auderer, saying he violated professional standards for his comments. Office of Police Accountability’s recommendation now sits with Seattle Police Chief Adrian Diaz.

What happened 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. Dave was responding to an overdose call when hit her with his SUV, and Auderer responded to perform a routine sobriety test on Dave.

Body camera video from that night captured Auderer laughing and making offensive comments about Kandula.

“Yeah, just write a check. Just $11,000,” he is heard saying during a phone call with the president of the Seattle Police Officer Guild. “She was 26. Anyway, she had limited value.”

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While Auderer currently faces no criminal charges for his remarks, SPD Police Chief Adrian Diaz previously pulled him from the field, assigning him to desk duty within the department. It’s unclear what Auderer’s current duties are.

Auderer claims his comments were taken out of context and meant to satirize the hypothetical arguments of city lawyers.

Contributing: Steve Coogan and Frank Sumrall, MyNorthwest; Kate Stone, KIRO Newsradio

You can read more of Sam Campbell’s stories here. Follow Sam Campbell on X, formerly known as Twitter, or email him here.

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