"She was 26 anyway. She had limited value."
A terrible video has come to light in which Officer Daniel Auderer, from Seattle, was heard making light of a tragic incident involving Indian student, Jaahnavi Kandula.
Officer Auderer was responding to an accident that saw Jaahnavi die after being hit by a police car.
Jaahnavi, who was in her 20s and originally from Andhra Pradesh, was run over near Northeastern University.
An investigation is currently ongoing after the recording was leaked from bodycam footage.
She was killed on January 23, 2023, after being hit by a police car as she was crossing the street.
The vehicle was travelling at a speed of 74mph where the speed limit was 25mph. Officer Auderer was heard saying:
“But she is dead. No, it’s a regular person. Yeah, just write a cheque.”
The professional then laughed and added:
“$11,000. She was 26 anyway. She had limited value.”
The officer also misstated the age of the Indian student. He says she was 26 when she was actually 23.
During the investigation, Officer Auderer asserted that his comments were taken out of context.
Officer Auderer was on a call with Mike Solan, who is the guild’s president. Mr Solan’s voice cannot be heard in the recording.
The release of the footage has sparked widespread outrage.
Jaahnavi was completing her Master’s degree in Information Systems. Her uncle Ashok Mandula questioned the value of people like Officer Auderer:
“The family has nothing to say.
“Except I wonder if these men’s daughters or granddaughters have value. A life is a life.”
Her grandfather added:
“How can anyone speak like that after a tragic accident?”
According to KTTH radio, in his defence, Officer Auderer said:
“I laughed at the ridiculousness of how these incidents are litigated and the ridiculousness of how I watched these incidents play out as two parties bargain over a tragedy.”
He added that his comments were “not made with malice or a hard heart.”
It is reported that Officer Auderer told his accountability office about his actions, having realised how the footage could harm the trust of the community.
The Seattle Community Police Commission called the recording “heartbreakingly and shockingly insensitive.” They added:
“The people of Seattle deserve better from a police department that is charged with fostering trust with the community and ensuring public safety.”
Victoria Beach, the chair of the African American Community Advisory Council, said:
“I was very disturbed that somebody could laugh about somebody that died.”
Meanwhile, Ashok arranged for Jaahnavi’s body to be sent back to her mother in India.