Seattle police officer taken off patrol duty who joked after Jaahnavi’s death


The case is under review and considering whether to pursue charges against Dave

Our Bureau

Seattle, WA

A Seattle Police officer, who joked about the horrific death of a 23-year-old Indian student earlier this year, has been pulled off patrol duty, weeks after the South Asian community here demanded action against him.

Jaahnavi Kandula was killed by an over-speeding police car while crossing a street in January. The department on Thursday confirmed by email that Officer Daniel Auderer “has been administratively reassigned to a non-operational position.”

Auderer was a member of the SPD’s traffic squad and vice president of the Seattle Police Officers Guild.

About 15 days ago, the Seattle Community Police Commission recommended the city police chief to relieve Auderer from duty and withhold his pay.

The incident came into light when the police department had released footage from a body cam earlier this month in which Auderer can be seen laughing about the deadly crash and dismissed any implication that another officer, Kevin Dave, might be at fault or that a criminal investigation was necessary.

The Consulate General of India in San Francisco earlier this month had voiced its concern over the handling of Kandula’s death as “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 and Embassy will continue to closely follow up on this matter with all concerned authorities,” as per the social media post of the mission.

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