Though Seattle Police Officer Kevin Dave may have admitted that he “f–ked up” after fatally hitting 23-year-old graduate student Jaahnavi Kandula after driving 74 miles-per-hour — 50 miles per hour over the speed limit — into a crosswalk, his higher-ups appear to have even less remorse over the deadly accident.
Newly released body camera footage painted an even bleaker picture of the January incident, depicting Officer Daniel Auderer, Vice President of the Seattle Police Officers Guild, laughing and belittling Kandula in a phone conversation with the guild’s president Mike Solan.
"Yeah, just write a check," he said with a laugh. “Eleven thousand dollars. She was 26 anyway. She had limited value.”
This was Jaahnavi Kandula, 23. She was a masters student in Seattle supporting a single mother in India.— Shehan Jeyarajah (@ShehanJeyarajah) September 12, 2023
In January, she was killed by a police cruiser going 50 MPH through an intersection. Hours later, the VP of the police union was laughing about her death on a phone call. pic.twitter.com/ygeA4cY4xj
While it’s unclear how Solan replied to these remarks as only Auderer’s portion of the conversation was audible, several other community members left no doubts surrounding their reactions to the offensive audio.
“Yeah, just write a check.— Shehan Jeyarajah (@ShehanJeyarajah) September 12, 2023
$11,000, she was 26, she had limited value.”
“The people of Seattle deserve better from a police department that is charged with fostering trust with the community and ensuring public safety,” The Community Police Commission said in a joint statement.
Condemning the footage as “heartbreaking and shockingly insensitive,” this sentiment echoed throughout social media as Auderer’s comments made the rounds on Twitter.
“I wish I’d never listened to the audio...the laughter is horrific,” @lzreads wrote alongside the clip. “Police are truly our biggest threat to public safety.”
I wish I’d never listened to the audio...the laughter is horrific. Police are truly our biggest threat to public safety. https://t.co/ftoTUGYy8H— Elizabeth (@lzreads) September 13, 2023
But officials and social media bystanders were far from alone in speaking out against Auderer’s horrifying comments.
“The family has nothing to say,” Kandula’s uncle Ashok Mandula told The Seattle Times of the footage. "Except I wonder if these men’s daughters or granddaughters have value. A life is a life,” he said.
Though Auderer is still currently employed with the Seattle Police Department as of publication, one thing is certain — we can only hope that everyone he encounters thinks his life is of limited value.