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Body cam shows Seattle officer laughing after pedestrian killed

Recently released body camera footage shows a Seattle police officer laughing and joking about a fellow officer hitting and killing a pedestrian with his car.

Jaahnavi Kandula, a graduate student at Northeastern University, was struck and killed by a police cruiser while crossing the street in a crosswalk on January 23 in Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood.

According to KING 5, the officer was traveling nearly 74 miles per hour before striking Kandula. A case investigation report revealed that it was traveling at 63 mph when it struck the 23-year-old grad student. The officer, identified by KIRO 7 news as Kevin Dave, had reportedly been responding to an emergency call.

Newly released body camera footage shows Detective Daniel Auderer discussing the incident the next day. He can be heard telling a colleague he does not think there needs to be a criminal investigation.

“I mean, he was going 50 (MPH). That’s not out of control. That’s not reckless for a trained driver,” Auderer said in the video, according to KOMO News.

Near the end of the video, Auderer begins to joke about the incident.

“Yeah, just write a check,” he says.

The remark is followed by laughter before Auderer continues, “Eleven thousand dollars. She was 26, anyway. She had limited value.”

Police learned about the footage from a department employee. The footage was referred to Chief Adrian Diaz and is now being investigated by the Office of Police Accountability, KIRO 7 reports.

The Seattle Community Police Commission (CPC) issued a statement on Monday calling the footage “shocking and heartbreaking,” KOMO News reports.

“This speaks to the concerns that the Seattle Community Police Commission has repeatedly raised about elements of Seattle Police Department culture and SPOG resistance to officer accountability measures included in the landmark 2017 Police Accountability Ordinance,” the CPC said in a statement. “The people of Seattle deserve better from a police department that is charged with fostering trust with the community and ensuring public safety.”

According to KING 5, Auderer is the vice president of the Seattle Police Officers Guild. The footage is under investigation but is unclear if Auderer is currently on the job.

Police have also reached out to Kandula’s family, who have asked for people to respect their privacy.

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1 COMMENT

  1. Such callousness on the part of the officers’ part demonstrates how flawed the vetting and training of police officers has become in the US. That any law enforcement agency would tolerate such an absence of humanity on the part of its staff creates an atmosphere that will continue to result in needless tragedies regardless of whether the injured parties survive or die

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