New Delhi: India has called upon the United States to launch a comprehensive inquiry into the disturbing bodycam footage capturing a Seattle police officer making insensitive remarks about the death of an Indian student, Jaahnavi Kandula, who was struck by a speeding police car in January. The officer in question, Kevin Dave, was reportedly driving at nearly 120 kmph while responding to an overdose call, according to the Seattle Times.
Kandula, a 23-year-old master’s student at Northeastern University’s Seattle campus, tragically lost her life in the incident.
In a video recently released by the Seattle Police Department, another officer can be heard making inappropriate jokes and laughing while discussing the accident. Daniel Auderer, Vice President of the Seattle Police Officers’ Guild, was recorded in a conversation with the guild’s president, callously stating, “She is dead,” followed by laughter, and referring to Ms. Kandula as “a regular person.” He went on to suggest, amidst more laughter, “Yeah, just write a check. Eleven thousand dollars.”
The clip concludes with his inaccurate remark that “She was 26 anyway; she had limited value.”
The Indian Consulate in San Francisco expressed deep concern over the handling of Kandula’s tragic road accident and called for action against those involved in the case.
“We have strongly raised this matter with local authorities in Seattle & Washington State, as well as senior officials in Washington DC, seeking a thorough investigation and action against those connected to this heartbreaking incident,” the mission stated on X (formerly Twitter).
“The Consulate & Embassy will maintain close oversight of this matter, liaising with all relevant authorities,” it affirmed.
Hailing from Andhra Pradesh, Kandula had been pursuing her master’s degree at Northeastern University in Seattle, as detailed in a GoFundMe fundraiser established to support her family.
“The family has no words except to ponder if these men have daughters or granddaughters and whether they value their lives. Every life is precious,” her uncle, Ashok Kandula, commented on the fundraising page.