Seattle Police Probe: Video shows US cop laughing after collision killed Indian student, probe launched

NEW DELHI: An investigation has been launched against Seattle police union leaders following the emergence of troubling footage from an officer’s body camera. NBC News has reported that this footage recorded an officer making inappropriate remarks while discussing the death of a Indian-origin woman, named Jaahnavi Kandula, who was struck and killed by a police cruiser while crossing a street.
Daniel Auderer, the vice president of the Seattle police officers guild, arrived at the scene of the tragic incident on January 23, where another officer named Kevin Dave struck and fatally injured 23-year-old Kandula, as she was in a crosswalk.
Dave was traveling at a speed of 74 mph on his way to respond to an overdose call. Auderer, who specializes in drug recognition, was assigned to evaluate whether Dave was impaired, according to reports.
Afterward, Auderer left his body-worn camera on as he called guild President Mike Solan to report what happened. In a recording released by the police department Monday, Auderer laughs and suggests that Kandula’s life had “limited value” and the city should “just write a check.”
“Eleven thousand dollars. She was 26 anyway,” Auderer said, inaccurately stating Kandula’s age. “She had limited value.”
The recording did not capture Solan’s remarks.
Auderer said that he did not believe a criminal investigation was being carried out. He said, “I mean, he was going 50 mph. That’s not out of control. That’s not reckless for a trained driver.”
However, a report released in June revealed that Dave was driving 74 mph in a 25-mph zone while responding to a different “high-priority” call, NBC News reported citing KIRO 7.
Auderer visited the site of the incident to carry out a drug test on Dave, New York Post reported. Timestamps on the bodycam footage revealed that he was revealing details regarding the incident in his call to another colleague the following evening.
In a statement on September 11, the Seattle Police Department said, “The following video was identified in the routine course of business by a department employee, who, concerned about the nature of statements heard on that video, appropriately escalated their concerns through their chain of command to the Chief’s Office which, following a review of the video, referred the matter to OPA for investigation into the context in which those statements were made and any policy violation that might be implicated. This is what department policy and the City’s Accountability Ordinance require.”
According to the incident footage, Dave had chirped his siren but did not have it running continuously when he hit Kandula, New York Post reported.
According to Dave’s bodycam footage, he admitted he “f***** up,” after speeding through the intersection of Dexter Avenue North and Thomas Street, where the speed limits are 20 and 25 mph.
After reaching the top speed, he can be slowing the vehicle before hitting Kandula. He performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) on the exchange student, who arrived at Northeastern University in Seattle from India to pursue a master’s of science information systems at the College of Engineering, according to New York Post report.
Jaahnavi Kandula, a native of Andhra Pradesh’s Kurnool district, was due to graduate this December.
(With inputs from agencies)

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