Jaahnavi Kandula, a graduate student at Northeastern University, was struck and killed by a police cruiser in Seattle last Monday.
According to Boston.com, the 23-year-old was killed by the police cruiser while crossing the street in a crosswalk on January 23 in Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood. Police claim the vehicle was responding to a priority call.
Kandula was set to graduate from Northeastern University’s College of Engineering with a master’s degree in December. On Friday a vigil and bike ride was held in Seattle to honor Kandula, KING 5 Seattle reports. The vigil was hosted by a social cycling group called Critical Mass.
“Tonight’s case I think highlights how danger can come from any corner of our city even those who are tasked with protecting us are choosing to create actions that kill people,” cyclist Joe Hand told KING 5.
Community members want more answers about Kandula’s death. The Seattle Police Department said in a statement to the Seattle Times that they will wait to release more information after Kandula’s death is further investigated and the family our consulted.
“We acknowledge that there is understandably tremendous interest in the surrounding facts, but for purposes of both preserving the integrity of the investigation and respecting the family’s right to privacy, will not be putting out information over and beyond what has already been provided,” the department said.
“We will provide all publicly releasable information, including the report, once we are able to do so, and in consultation with the family,” the statement continued.
Kandula’s family is also looking for more information and closure. They have also issued a statement, which according to KING 5 Seattle, reads in part:
“We are truly heartbroken. Jaahnavi was a brilliant student with a bright future. Jaahnavi’s smile was radiant, and her bubbly personality warmed the hearts of every person she came in contact with. She had an innate ability to connect with people from all walks of life. Jaahnavi’s tragic and untimely death has left her family and community with a huge hole in their hearts that will never be repaired. She was a daughter to a single mother who teaches elementary school in India. In spite of earning less than 200 USD per month, her mother educated Jaahnavi and encouraged her to the United States hoping Jaahnavi would have a better future and a better life abroad. Her mother’s hopes and dreams are cut short now.”
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help Kandula’s family. It has raised over $150,000 so far.
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