The family of 23-year-old Jaahnavi Kandula, the graduate student hit and killed by a police vehicle is speaking out.
Kandula was killed in Seattle in January by officer Kevin Dave. Dave struck and killed Kandula while reportedly responding to an emergency call when it struck her.
Last week, body camera footage showed Detective Daniel Auderer laughing and joking about the incident the next day. Kandula’s family has now released a statement in response to the footage.
“Jaahnavi was a brilliant student with a promising future. Her radiant smile and bubbly personality warmed the hearts of everyone she met, and she had a natural ability to connect with people from all walks of life. Jaahnavi’s untimely and tragic accident has left her family with an unfillable void in their lives,” the student’s family told ABC News in a statement.
“It is truly disturbing and saddening to hear insensible comments on the bodycam video from an SPD officer regarding Jaahnavi’s death,” the statement continued. “Jaahnavi is a beloved daughter and beyond any dollar value for her mother and family. We firmly believe that every human life is invaluable and not be belittled, especially during a tragic loss.”
Other people close to Kandula say the recording has conjured up new feelings of grief.
“It’s a second grieving,” said Khaled Bugrara, director of Northeastern’s graduate engineering programs and one of Kandula’s academic advisers, told NBC News. “As an educator, it’s my job to make sure these kids blossom in their lives and in their careers. And to feel it taken away from one of your students … it’s a horrible thing.”
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