Police union vice president caught laughing over death of student fatally struck by police car
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A police union vice president was caught laughing over the death of student who was fatally struck by a police car.
SPD's Daniel Auderer - who was not involved in the January collision and has not been charged with a crime - was caught laughing while responding to an emergency call at the time of the collision.
Reports suggest that Kandula had the right of way as she crossed a heavily marked crosswalk near her campus in the South Lake Union.
The 23-year-old was then struck by Officer Kevin Dave's cruiser who was responding to a drug overdose call.
SPD released the body cam footage of Auderer for the 'interest of transparency' - who also happens to be the vice president of the Seattle Police Officers Guild, the largest law enforcement labor union in the Northwest.
The footage shows the VP downplay the student's death while on the phone with his colleague, guild President Mike Solan.
Auderer said: "Yeah, just write a check. $11,000. She was 26 , anyway. She had limited value.
"I mean, he was going 50 (MPH). That's not out of control. That's not reckless for a trained driver."
On Monday (11 September) SPD said in a statement: "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.
"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.
"SPD has been in touch with the family of the victim pedestrian and continues to honor their expressed request for privacy.
"As others in the accountability system proceed with their work, we again extend our deepest sympathy for this tragic collision.”
Kandula's family also said in a statement: "We are truly heartbroken. Jaahnavi was a brilliant student with a bright future. Jaahnavi's smile was radiant, and her bubbly personality warmed the hearts of every person she came in contact with.
"She had an innate ability to connect with people from all walks of life.
"Jaahnavi's tragic and untimely death has left her family and community with a huge hole in their hearts that will never be repaired. She was a daughter to a single mother who teaches elementary school in India.
"In spite of earning less than 200 USD per month, her mother educated Jaahnavi and encouraged her to the United States hoping Jaahnavi would have a better future and a better life abroad.
"Her mother's hopes and dreams are cut short now."
Seattle City Councilmember Lisa Herbold said she was 'angry and disappointed to hear the way this detective talked about a fatal collision'.
During a committee meeting at City Hall on Tuesday (12 September), she said: "As horrifying as this conversation was to hear, I want to also say that I am thankful to police department employees who discovered this and appropriately escalated these comments through their chain of command to the Chief's office."
Co-chairs of the Community Police Commission called the recorded conversation 'heartbreaking and shockingly insensitive'.
UNILAD has contacted SPD for comment.