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Justice for Kandula: Protests in Seattle to Charge Officer Who Struck and Killed College Student

The Seattle Police Department released body-cam footage of Officer Daniel Auderer’s (a drug-recognition expert) bodycam laughing about a 23-year-old victim Jaahnaki Kandula student’s death in January of this year.
CNN- Jaahnavi Kandula 23, was struck by a police car and killed in January.

A Seattle police officer traveling at 74 mph hit and killed 23-year-old Indian student Jaahnavi Kandula in January 2023. Jaahnavi passed away instantly after being struck.

Last Thursday, protesters gathered at the intersection of Thomas Street and Dexter Avenue North, Seattle, WA, the location of the crosswalk where Kandula was fatally struck, to advocate for justice, convict Keniv Dave, and condemn vice president of Seattle Police Officers Guild, Daniel Auderer. The protest has been hosted by the Seattle Alliance against Political Repression, according to The Seattle Times.

“The body cam footage that captured the incident showed Dave notifying other officers about the accident before disembarking from the patrol car and immediately administering CPR, in an attempt to save the victim’s life,” Anushree Madappa, editor of SkPop, said.

Kevin Dave was seen on camera that night speeding and only sometimes turning on the sirens when he was called to a reported overdose.

Dave admitted his mistake; on July 20, 2023, however, in other body cam footage, Dave is caught on camera saying, “I can have a hundred minutes. I could have… There’s nothing for me to do right now but sit. And that is the f*** worst thing that… You just have to sit here. So many questions that are unanswered, so many questions.”

Officer Daniel Auderer, a drug detection specialist who was sent to the site to determine whether Officer Dave was under the influence when the collision occurred, was seen on body cam footage chuckling about the tragic accident.

According to NPR, in the body cam footage, Officer Auderer said, “She’s dead,” and then laughed. The precise context is unclear because Solan’s (the recipient) side of the conversation is not audible. A little later on, Auderer said, “Yeah, just write a check. She was 26 anyway. She had limited value.”

Additionally, Auderer denied any suggestion that Dave was at fault for the incident.

Kevin Dave, a current police officer in Seattle, has not been charged criminally in connection with the incident. According to the department, the case was being looked into by the Office of Police Accountability as a result of the recently made public body cam audio that showed responding officer Daniel Auderer laughing at the fatal collision, as stated by ABCNews.

The victim, Jaahnavi Kandula, had come from India to pursue her Master’s degree in information technology at Northeastern University. Her family described Kandula as a brilliant student who was raised in India by a single mother who also worked as a teacher in India.

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About the Contributor
Mia Mirsaidova
Mia Mirsaidova, Staff Writer
Mia Mirsaidova is a junior at JLHS and is a first-year staff member for The Lightning Letter. She enjoys swimming and watching Formula 1; fan of Red Bull, Aston Martin, and Mercedes. Mia loves cars, learning new languages, and horror/comedy movies. She also believes that Nashville's best burger place is 'Baam Burger'.
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