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'Probe this...' India tells US after video emerges of Seattle cop mocking Andhra student's death in accident

Jaahnavi Kandula, an Indian student pursuing her master's degree at Northeastern University in Seattle. She lost her life in a road accident involving a speeding Seattle police car. The insensitive remarks made by a police officer in bodycam footage has sent shockwaves.

India asks US to probe bodycam video emerges of Seattle cop mocking Andhra student Jaahnavi Kandula death In accident
First Published Sep 14, 2023, 8:24 AM IST

India has called on the United States to launch a comprehensive investigation into the disturbing bodycam footage featuring a Seattle police officer making callous remarks about the tragic death of an Indian student who was struck by a speeding police car.

The victim, 23-year-old Jaahnavi Kandula, lost her life in January after being fatally hit by a police vehicle driven by Officer Kevin Dave, who was reportedly travelling at nearly 120 kmph while responding to a report of an overdose, as reported by the Seattle Times. Kandula was pursuing a master's degree at Northeastern University's Seattle campus.

In a video released by the Seattle Police Department on Monday, another police officer can be heard making inappropriate jokes and laughter while discussing the accident. In the clip, Daniel Auderer, Vice President of the Seattle Police Officers' Guild, is heard saying, "She is dead," followed by laughter, referring to Kandula as "a regular person." 

He continues to laugh, suggesting, "Yeah, just write a check. Eleven thousand dollars." The clip concludes with him inaccurately stating her age, saying, "She was 26 anyway; she had limited value."

The Indian Consulate in San Francisco has expressed deep concern over the handling of Kandula's tragic road accident death, calling for action against those involved in the case. 

In a statement posted on social media (formerly known as Twitter), the mission stated, "We have taken a strong stance with local authorities in Seattle & Washington State, as well as senior officials in Washington DC, urging a thorough investigation and action in this tragic case." 

It also emphasized that the Consulate and Embassy would closely monitor the situation and liaise with relevant authorities.

Hailing from Andhra Pradesh, Kandula had been pursuing her master's degree at Northeastern University in Seattle, as noted in a GoFundMe fundraiser created to support her family. Her uncle, Ashok Kandula, expressed their grief by saying, "The family has nothing to say, except I wonder if these men's daughters or granddaughters have value. A life is a life."

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