The disturbing body camera footage was released last week. Moments after Kandula’s death, you can hear Officer Daniel Auderer laughing and then stating, “Yeah, just write a check. Yeah, $11,000 she was 26 anyway, she had limited value,” reports a local CBS outlet.
The deadly crash occurred when Officer Kevin Dave was driving 74 miles per hour en route to a “priority one call,” according to Newsweek. Auderer had been sent to the scene to evaluate and assess if Dave was impaired.
The Office of Police Accountability is continuing their investigation of the video footage from the body camera and the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office is also performing a criminal review of the crash that killed Kandula.
Auderer is Vice President of the Seattle Police Officers Guild (SPOG), which is the largest police officer labor union in the Northwest, and was speaking to Mike Solan, President of SPOG.
In trying to defend himself, Auderer said it was sarcasm, “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,” in a statement provided to Newsweek.
But since the recording was made public, community members have expressed outrage, organized protests, and called for the two union officials to resign.
SPOG responded on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter, writing “The Seattle Police Officers’ Guild understands the attention and outrage surrounding the viral video which captures highly insensitive comments regarding the death of Jaahnavi Kandula by Officer Dan Auderer. Without context, this audio is horrifying and has no place in a civil society.”
The four-paragraph statement also added, “Some viral videos of police actions shared by media, fail to explain the full story/context. This Seattle Police video is an example of that reality. The video captures only one side of the conversation. There is much more detail and nuance that has not been made public yet.”
Vasudha Sharma, President of UTSAV, a networking platform for South Asians who live in the Pacific Northwest, said “How can you put money on a life? How can you call life a mere several dollars?”
Members of the South Asian Community have met with Seattle city leaders, telling local outlet KIRO-7 that “they feel the overall culture of SPD needs to change and officers need to be held accountable for the insensitive comments.”