Seattle’s Office of Police Accountability (OPA) said that Officer Daniel Auderer, the vice president of the Seattle Police Officer’s Guild (SPOG), made “derogatory, contemptuous, and inhumane” remarks about the death of 23-year-old Jaahnavi Kandula a year ago.
Kandula was killed when she was struck by a vehicle driven by Officer Kevin Dave on Jan. 23, 2023. He was driving at a speed of 74 miles per hour in a 25-mile-per-hour zone, and he did not have his sirens activated at the time. Kandula was walking in a crosswalk when the collision took place.
She was a graduate student from India.
In the immediate aftermath of the collision, Auderer was involved in a call with Mike Solan, the president of SPOG. Auderer’s body camera recorded the conversation and you can hear him saying, “Yeah, just write a check. $11,000. She was 26 anyway. She had limited value.”
Investigators concluded that Auderer’s comments violated Seattle Police Department (SPD) policies that state officers should strive to act professionally at all times.
Solan and Auderer have said their call was private, mostly union-related and never intended to be made public. They say their conversation was meant to express their mockery of and exasperation with a legal process in which they claimed civil lawyers would argue and try to place a dollar value on Kandula’s life.
The public outcry led SPD to take Auderer off the streets and reassign him to a desk pending the outcome of the internal investigation about his comments and the criminal investigation involving Dave.
The King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office has also hired an outside firm to review the SPD investigation into the crash itself. Its results will be released within a few weeks.