Newly-released bodycam footage shows a Seattle police officer audibly laughing and joking on a phone call the day after an incident where a fellow officer had hit and killed a pedestrian with their patrol car.
The officer on the call is identified as Seattle Police Officers’ Guild Vice President Daniel Auderer. In it, Auderer can be heard speaking to SPOG President Mike Solan, as he talked about the incident where 23-year-old exchange student Jaahnavi Kandula was fatally hit by Officer Kevin Dave.
Shortly after saying “she’s dead,” Auderer laughs and says “it’s a regular person,” referring to Kandula. He then says “just write a check -- $11,000, she was 26 anyway, she had limited value.”
Auderer also mentions that Dave was “going 50 [miles an hour],” stating how “that’s not out of control” for a trained driver. A report released in June revealed that Dave was actually traveling at 74 miles an hour in a 25 mile an hour zone while responding to a different call.
Auderer had responded to the scene on the night of Jan. 23 to conduct a drug recognition test on Dave. According to the timestamp on the bodycam video, Auderer’s phone call about the incident took place the following evening.
The comments made by the officer has sparked a lot of outrage in the area, especially for people who live in the South Lake Union Neighborhood.
“I don’t know. That is just…..she had an entire family. I read about her. She had an entire family and career ahead of her,” Saga, who lives in the area, said.
We played the video for people and read the comments made. Many people argue that the comments were out of line.
“I think these people need to be investigated. This kind of behavior is not expected from a public servant. Especially in that moment,” Shub, who lives in Seattle, said.
“Like laughing is one, but those comments….they were even worse than the laughter,” one woman told us.
According to a post from SPD, the video of Auderer’s call “was identified in the routine course of business by a department employee,” and was escalated to Chief Adrian Diaz. It was then referred to the Office of Police Accountability for a full investigation.
SPD says it released the video “in the interest of transparency,” but will not comment further on it until the OPA finishes its investigation.
Seattle’s civilian-led Community Police Commission (CPC) released a statement of its own, asserting that “this speaks to the concerns that the Seattle Community Police Commission has repeatedly raised about elements of Seattle Police Department culture and SPOG resistance to officer accountability measures included in the landmark 2017 Police Accountability Ordinance.”
“The people of Seattle deserve better from a police department that is charged with fostering trust with the community and ensuring public safety,” the CPC added.
We have also reached out to SPOG for comment and are awaiting a response.
The video was released to SPD’s YouTube page and can be viewed in full below.