Headline RoundupSeptember 15th, 2023

Bodycam Captures Seattle Police Officer Joking About Woman's Death

Summary from AllSides News Team

A Seattle Police Department union leader is facing backlash after his body camera captured him laughing and joking about an incident where a woman was struck and killed by a police officer.

Details: On January 23, Jaahnavi Kandula, 23, was struck and killed by Seattle Police Officer Kevin Dave. In a video released this week, Officer Daniel Auderer, vice president of the Seattle Police Officers Guild, laughs and says Kandula’s life had “limited value” and the city should “just write a check.” Auderer defended his words, stating, “I intended the comment as a mockery of lawyers. I laughed at the ridiculousness of how these incidents are litigated and the ridiculousness of how I watched these incidents play out as two parties bargain over a tragedy.”

Response: Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) stated Thursday, “Jaahnavi Kandula was killed by a speeding police car. Then, police officers joked about her death and devalued her life. I’m sick to my stomach. This is exactly what happens when we normalize xenophobia and racism. It needs to stop.” Seattle Councilmember Lisa Herbold stated, “While I am angry and disappointed to hear the way that this detective talked about a fatal collision, I am appreciative that the accountability system is working to find and daylight this type of culture within the department so that we can continue to push to shift and reform the Police Department.”

How the Media Covered It: The incident is being covered prominently in left-rated outlets. Coverage from right-rated outlets is minimal. 

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