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Jaahnavi Kandula's Death Triggers Investigation and Reflection on Human Worth in Seattle

Thursday, September 14, 2023 • Tamil Comments
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The Indian consulate in San Francisco has expressed deep concern over the handling of the death of an Indian national, Jaahnavi Kandula, who was struck by a police car in Seattle. The incident took a disturbing turn when body camera audio captured a responding police officer making callous remarks about her life.

Reports revealed that police union leaders were being investigated over the audio, in which they laughed and made insensitive comments about Kandula's death. The Indian consulate in San Francisco tweeted that these reports were deeply troubling and that they had strongly taken up the matter with local authorities in Seattle, Washington State, and senior officials in Washington DC. They called for a thorough investigation and action against those involved.

In January, Jaahnavi Kandula, a 23-year-old student at Northeastern University, was struck by a police car driven by Officer Kevin Dave. Another officer, Daniel Auderer, recorded audio on his body camera in which he made callous remarks about Kandula's life, suggesting it had limited value and that the city should just write a check for her death. Kandula was studying for a master's degree in information systems and was set to graduate later in the year.

Her family, deeply affected by the insensitivity of the remarks, questioned the value placed on a human life. US Congressman Ro Khanna emphasized that every Indian immigrant's life had infinite value.

The Seattle Police Department learned of the conversation in early August and contacted the Office of Police Accountability, which is conducting the investigation.

The incident has sparked outrage and calls for accountability, highlighting the need for sensitivity and respect in law enforcement interactions.

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