A tragic incident occurred in Seattle, where Jahnavi Kandula a 23-year-old Indian student, studying Master’s at the North Eastern University Seattle Campus, was hit by Seattle police officer, Kevin Dave, with his car when he was responding to a priority 1 call at the Dexter Avenue North intersection on January 23, 2023.
Here’s a clear explainer of the events that took place after the accident took place:
The officer, Kevin Dave, was speeding 74 hours per mile on a 24-hour mile area North when he hit the pedestrian on the crosswalk. The witness says that she was thrown 100 feet over. The officer performed CPR on the victim moments after hitting her and several first responders showed up at the scene. Chief Adrian Diaz stated “Any serious traffic collision on City streets, whether officer-involved or not, is investigated as a potential criminal matter by the Traffic Collision squad”
A shocking video was released by the SPD of an officer, Daniel Audurer, Seattle Officers Guild Vice President speaking to the guild president Mike Sloan. Auderer left his body camera on, While discussing the death he said ‘she was only 26 and had limited value’ and that the city should just write a check for $11,000 to the victim’s family.
India’s ambassador to the United States raised the issue with authorities in Seattle and Washington D.C. and sought prompt action on the matter of the incident and the shocking comments by the police officer. The senior administration officials have issued a statement assuring him and the Indian government that the entire incident has been taken very seriously by them and a thorough investigation will be conducted. The Consulate General of India in San Francisco also took cognizance of the video and called the matter “deeply troubling.”
Daniel Auderer responded by saying that his comments were taken out of context and were misunderstood, he stated “I responded with something like: ‘She’s 26 years old. What value is there? Who cares?’ I intended the comment as a mockery of lawyers, I was imitating what a lawyer tasked with negotiating the case would be saying and being sarcastic to express that they shouldn’t be coming up with crazy arguments to minimize the payment,”
“Yeah, just write a check.
$11,000, she was 26, she had limited value.”
— Shehan Jeyarajah (@ShehanJeyarajah) September 12, 2023
The victim is a 23-year-old from Andhra Pradesh, India, studying Master’s in computer science at the North Eastern university, Seattle. Her body was transferred to India for the last rites by her uncle Ashok Mandala, who lives in Houston. Speaking to the Seattle Times, Mandela said, “The family has nothing to say except I wonder if these men’s daughters or granddaughters have value. A life is a life.