Police union leaders in Seattle are under investigation after body-camera footage showed an officer joking about the death of a woman killed by another officer in a car crash.
On Monday, the Seattle Police Department released footage of Daniel Auderer, vice president of the Seattle Police Officers Guild, laughing about the fatal incident with Guild President Mike Solan.
The collision occurred on January 23 as Seattle officer Kevin Dave was responding to an emergency call for an overdose. Driving 74 mph in a 25 mph zone, Dave struck 23-year-old Jaahnavi Kandula at a crosswalk, catapulting her body over 100 feet.
Kandula was then transported to a hospital, where she died from her injuries.
The next day, on January 24, Auderer was assigned to review the officer-involved incident, using his expertise as a drug recognition expert. However, he left his body camera on as he discussed the details of the crash.
“It does not seem like there’s a criminal investigation going on,” Auderer told Solan, adding that Dave was “going 50,” when he struck Kandula, and “that’s not our of control, that’s not reckless for a trained driver.” In addition, he also rejected the claim that Kandula was “thrown 40 feet.”
As the conversation continued, Auderer is also heard confirming Kandula “is dead,” as he laughs, saying, “No, it’s a regular person.”
“Eleven thousand dollars. She was 26 anyway,” Auderer said, claiming the city should “just write a check.”
“She had limited value,” he added.
The footage was “identified in a routine course of business by a department employee, who, concerned about the nature of statements heard on that video,” reported it to higher officials. Now, the Office of Police Accountability is investigating the incident.
However, Auderer claims his comments have been taken out of context.
Kandula was a Northeastern University student who was on track to receive her master’s in information systems in December.
The Seattle Police Officers Guild is the largest law enforcement labor union in the Northwest.