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The Seattle police officer heard laughing and making questionable remarks on bodycam footage about the death of a woman earlier this year has been the subject of 18 other oversight investigations, according to reports.
Driving the news: The Seattle Police Department (SPD) released this week the footage involving Officer Daniel Auderer, which was recorded shortly after the incident on the night of Jan. 23. Auderer, who is currently vice president of the Seattle Police Officers Guild, was responding to the fatal striking of 23-year-old Jaahnavi Kandula by another police car, driven by Officer Kevin Dave, near Dexter Avenue North and Thomas Street.
In his bodycam footage, Auderer can be heard laughing and making insensitive comments about Kandula, including saying that she had “limited value” and advising someone to “just write a check.” Auderer was in the car with the guild’s president, Officer Mike Solan, who is not heard in the recording.
What reports are saying: Web database OpenOversight, which collects information on police disciplinary actions, shows that Auderer was involved in 29 cases brought to the Office of Police Accountability (OPA), a city watchdog agency, between 2014 and 2021. Of these, 19 led to OPA investigations, which resulted in some allegations being sustained and Auderer receiving disciplinary actions such as written reprimand and suspension without pay.
Meanwhile, DivestSPD, a grassroots police watchdog, claims that Auderer was involved in “lawsuits costing the city over $1.7 million.” It is unclear what exactly these cases are, but previous reports, including from the Seattle Times and KOMO News, say Seattle paid $1.75 million in 2013 to settle a civil rights lawsuit filed over a violent arrest that reportedly involved Auderer and other officers.
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— DivestSPD (@DivestSPD) September 13, 2023
Rally held: A rally was held Thursday in the area where Kandula — an Indian graduate student at Northeastern University Seattle — was fatally hit. This time, protesters demanded action to be taken against Auderer, as well as Solan, according to KIRO 7.
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