Indian mission in US raises concern over policeman caught on tape laughing over Indian student’s death

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Public TV English
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SEATTLE: The Consulate General of India in San Francisco has raised concerns over the handling of an Indian-origin woman, Jaahnavi Kandula, who was killed by a police vehicle, and has demanded a through investigation and action against those involved.

The matter pertains to the reports showing an officer appearing to joke and bursting into laughter over the death of an Indian-origin student who was killed in January this year.

“Recent reports including in media of the handling of Ms Jaahnavi Kandula’s death in a road accident in Seattle in January are deeply troubling. We have taken up the matter strongly with local authorities in Seattle and Washington State as well as senior officials in Washington DC for a thorough investigation and action against those involved in this tragic case,” the Consulate General of India stated on X (formerly Twitter).

It added, “The Consulate and Embassy will continue to closely follow up on this matter with all concerned authorities”.

On Monday, the Seattle Police Department released footage from accused officer Daniel Auderer’s body camera.

Auderer left his body camera on after responding to the South Lake Union area where a marked patrol vehicle driven by another officer Kevin Dave struck and killed Indian-origin woman Jaahnavi Kandula, according to an NBC News report.

In the footage Auderer, who serves as vice president of the Seattle Police Officers Guild, is driving and can be heard talking about the accident that involved 23-year-old graduate student Kandula in a call with the guild’s president Mike Solan.

In the video, Auderer can be heard saying “she is dead” before bursting out into laughter.

Referring to Kandula, Auderer said, “No, it’s a regular person.” Towards the end of the clip, he can be heard saying, through bursts of laughter, “Yeah, just write a check. Eleven thousand dollars. She was 26 anyway,” misstating the age of the victim. He further said, “She had limited value,” New York Post reported.

Auderer said that he did not believe a criminal investigation was being carried out. He said, “I mean, he was going 50 mph. That’s not out of control. That’s not reckless for a trained driver.”

However, a report released in June revealed that Dave was driving 74 mph in a 25-mph zone while responding to a different “high-priority” call, NBC News reported citing KIRO 7. (ANI)

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