The Seattle Office of Police Accountability is investigating a conversation between two police officers recorded on a body-worn camera about the death of an Indian student, Jaahnavi Kandula. The student was tragically struck by a police cruiser earlier in the year. Here’s the full story.
Jaahnavi Kandula’s Fatal Encounter
The Seattle police are in the crosshairs of controversy following an unsettling turn of events after the tragic death of a 23-year-old Indian student, Jaahnavi Kandula.
Officer Kevin Dave’s Fatal Response to an Overdose Call
Kandula, an accomplished Northeast University graduate from Andhra Pradesh, was involved in a tragic incident in January when Officer Kevin Dave, responding at a speed of 74 mph to an overdose call, struck and killed her.
Offensive Remarks Caught on Body Camera
However, what has made this already grim incident even more disturbing is the unsettling conversation recorded on a body-worn camera, where two leaders of the Seattle Police Department union were heard making appalling comments about the deceased individual.
The watchdog agency overseeing the police is now undertaking a thorough investigation into this matter.
The Officer’s Controversial Comments
As per the recordings made public by the police department, Officer Daniel Auderer, who holds the position of vice president at the Seattle Police Officers Guild, was found to have made light of Kandula’s death.
Auderer’s controversial comments included suggestions that the young student’s life had “limited value” and that the city’s course of action should be to “just write a check.”
The casualness of the conversation is emphasized when Auderer states, “I don’t think she was thrown 40 feet, but she is dead”.
A Dark Statement
He then laughs. “No, it’s a regular person. Just write a check,” Auderer went on to say, “Eleven thousand dollars. She was 26 anyway. She had limited value.”
Mike Solan’s Side of the Conversation
While the released recording has Auderer’s remarks, the responses from Mike Solan, the guild President to whom Auderer was speaking, remain unknown, as they weren’t captured.
Auderer’s Attempt at Self-Reporting
In what some are arguing was an effort to control the narrative, but others think was a genuine attempt at accountability, Auderer reached out to Seattle’s Office of Police Accountability.
Controlling the Narrative or Genuine Accountability?
As Jason Rantz, a conservative KTTH talk-show host, explained, Auderer framed his remarks as a part of a “self-reported complaint.”
He said the conversation was “private” and something that was intended to be in line with his duties as a representative of SPOG.
The Unfolding Investigation
According to the officer, he called Solan to provide an explanation regarding the incident but inadvertently left his body camera running.
Upon realization of his oversight and knowing the implications of the inadvertently recorded conversation, he reportedly self-reported the incident.
However, adding another layer to this complex narrative, Chief Adrian Diaz clarified that the department was not made privy to the conversation through Auderer’s self-reported complaint.
Instead, it was an employee, during a “routine course of business,” who chanced upon the surprising dialogue and brought it to light.
Conduct Expectations for Law Enforcement
This discrepancy in the narratives regarding how the department came to know about the conversation has been noted by the public, adding another layer to the ongoing investigation.
Seeking Answers and Accountability
This incident has led to widespread discussions about the expectations of conduct from law enforcement officers, the implications of recorded private conversations, and the broader issues of sensitivity when dealing with tragedies.
Policing Conduct, Privacy, and Public Trust
Critics argue that this incident has not only tarnished the reputation of the force but also eroded public trust.
With an investigation underway, Seattle, along with the global community, awaits answers.
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The post “I Don’t Think She Was Thrown 40 Feet, but She Is Dead” – Seattle Officers’ Shocking “Limited Value” Remarks Caught on Body Camera Spark Investigation Into Student’s Tragic Death first appeared on Wealthy Living.
Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / VDB Photos. The people shown in the images are for illustrative purposes only, not the actual people featured in the story.
Source: India Today