A body cam recorded a Seattle police officer laughing and joking about a 23-year-old student who was killed at a crosswalk when a fellow officer hit her with his patrol car while driving 74 miles per hour in a 25 miles per hour zone.
The victim was Jaahnavi Kandula, a master's student from India, attended Seattle's Northeastern University. She was due to graduate in December.
Daniel Auderer, who is the vice president of the Seattle Police Officers' Guild, can be heard speaking with Guild President Mike Solan to describe the fatal accident. He is in his patrol car after responding to the scene of the fatality. Auderer can be heard telling Solan that the woman had "limited value" and the city of Seattle could "just write a check for eleven thousand dollars," to clear things up.
Chillingly, after Auderer informed Solan that the woman had died, he burst into laughter, adding that the dead woman was just "a regular person."
Auderer then seemed to realize that his body cam was recording the conversation, and he shut it off.
In a statement, Auderer claimed he was simply role playing. "I responded with something like: 'She's 26 years old. What value is there? Who cares?' I intended the comment as a mockery of lawyers. I was imitating what a lawyer tasked with negotiating the case would be saying and being sarcastic to express that they shouldn't be coming up with crazy arguments to minimize the payment. I laughed at the ridiculousness of how these incidents are litigated and the ridiculousness of how I watched these incidents play out as two parties bargain over a tragedy."
Listen to the recording of him laughing and decide for yourself if he was imitating a lawyer's laugh.
Jalopnik reports that Auderer has a record of cruel behavior, particularly towards people of color and mentally ill people:
He was named in a range of civil cases and has been the subject of a number of complaints of misconduct, excess force and bias. Some of these situations include him being one of several officers who stopped two Mexican immigrants under false pretenses, him being part of a group beating of a mentally ill man (causing permanent brain damage), and using force against a Black woman while she was handcuffed.
The officer who killed Kandula is Kevin Dave, according to The New York Post, "Dave had chirped his siren but did not have it running continuously, as he plowed into Kandula. Footage from Dave's bodycam reveals he admitted he "f–ked up," after speeding through the intersection of Dexter Avenue North and Thomas Street, where the speed limits are 25 and 20 mph, respectively. Moments after reaching the top speed, he can be seen slowing the car before striking Kandula at the fateful intersection."