SEATTLE, Wash. (WFLA) — Newly-released body camera footage from the Seattle Police Department (SPD) details shocking remarks made by an officer after a woman was fatally struck by a patrol car.
In January, a SPD officer was going 75 mph in a 25 mph zone while responding to a reported drug overdose and hit Jaahnavi Kandula, 23, killing her, according to a report from NBC affiliate KING.
Kandula, a graduate student, was using a crosswalk and had the right of way at the time of the crash, an incident report stated. She was reportedly wearing dark clothing and may have been wearing Airpods, according to the police department.
The driver had his emergency lights activated, but only “chirped” his sirens intermittently at intersections. He was not charged in connection to her death.
An officer who was not involved in the collision, Daniel Auderer, was captured by his own body-worn camera mocking Kandula’s death while speaking to the president of the Seattle Police Officers Guild over the phone, according to the Seattle Times. Auderer is the vice president of the organization, which is the largest law enforcement labor union in the Northwest, according to KING.
He was dispatched to the site of the crash to determine if the officer that struck Kandula was impaired.
“I think she went up on the hood, hit the windshield, then when he hit the brakes, flew off the car. But she is dead,” Auderer said with a laugh.
He noted there “doesn’t seem to be” an investigation or criminal charges in the works before discussing a possible monetary settlement with Kandula’s family, if they were to sue the department.
“No, it’s just a regular person,” Auderer said, nonchalantly. “Yeah, just write a check.”
Auderer laughed again.
“Eleven thousand dollars,” Auderer said. “She was 26, anyway. She had limited value.”
An unidentified SPD employee flagged the body camera footage and notified their supervisors. The SPD Office of Police Accountability is investigating the incident.
“While any incident of public concern is under OPA, SPD or OIG review, no City employee should comment, either in their official or personal capacity, in a way that suggests that any factual, policy, or legal conclusions have been reached about the incident,” SPD said on Monday, according to KING. “Recognizing the public concern around this video, SPD is putting out this video in the interest of transparency, but consistent with City law, SPD reserves any comment on the substance pending the completion of OPA’s investigation.”
When reached for comment by the Seattle Times, Kandula’s uncle, Ashok Mandula, of Houston, said he was making arrangements to send her body to her mother in India.
“The family has nothing to say,” Mandula told the Seattle Times. “Except I wonder if these men’s daughters or granddaughters have value. A life is a life.”