HomeIndian AmericanOfficer who struck and killed grad student gets traffic infraction, felony charges...

Officer who struck and killed grad student gets traffic infraction, felony charges not filed

The  Seattle City Attorney’s Office (CAO) Criminal Division has filed a traffic infraction for the officer who struck and killed Jaahnavi Kandula while driving his police vehicle in January of last year, My Northwest reports. The news comes shortly after prosecutors in Washington state announced they would not file felony charges against the officer.

Officer Kevin Dave hit Kandula while driving 74 mph in a 25-mph zone on January 23, 2023, The Guardian reports. His emergency lights and sirens were allegedly on.

The King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office claimed in a memo that they could not prove Dave’s actions were unsafe. They noted that other pedestrians said they could hear his sirens. They also claimed that Kandula appeared to try quickly finish crossing the street when she saw his vehicle approaching.

“There is insufficient evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Officer Dave was consciously disregarding safety,” the memo said, per The Guardian.

According to King 5 News, the traffic infraction was classified as a second-degree negligent driving, which carries a civil penalty and a fine of $5,000.

On Sunday, dozens gathered in Seattle to call for justice for Kandula. They say the traffic infraction is not enough.

“If not us then who will stand with her and if we are not here then no one will know what happened to her,” Aman Mahajan, who attended the rally, told KOMO News.

Anger and frustration over the police’s handling of Kandula’s death has also been compounded by body cam footage released in September, which showed another officer mocking her death.

Organizers at Sunday’s walk wonder if Dave is getting special treatment as a police officer.

“If someone else would have been behind the wheel would they have been given the same traffic violation, so why the special treatment is being given to those authorities,” Mahajan told KOMO News.

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