The Tragic Case of Jaahnavi Kandula: Demands for Justice

Ronit Kawale
Ronit Kawale  - Senior Editor
3 Min Read
Jaahnavi Kandula. Photo: X/@IndianTechGuide

A Shocking Revelation

A shocking video has surfaced, revealing a US police officer, Daniel Auderer, laughing and making insensitive jokes about the tragic death of Jaahnavi Kandula, a young Indian woman killed by his colleague, Officer Kevin Dave. The incident occurred earlier this year, prompting outrage and demands for justice.

Jaahnavi Kandula: A Promising Student

Jaahnavi Kandula, the victim, was a bright student and the daughter of a single mother. Hailing from Andhra Pradesh, she pursued her master’s degree at Northeastern University in Seattle, having arrived in the US in 2021 from Bengaluru as part of a student exchange program. Tragically, her dreams were cut short when the accident occurred.

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Disturbing Body Camera Footage

The released footage from accused officer Daniel Auderer’s body camera paints a grim picture. On January 23, Jaahnavi Kandula, 23, was struck and killed by Officer Kevin Dave while in a crosswalk. Dave was driving at a staggering 74 mph (119 km/h) en route to an overdose call. Auderer, a drug recognition expert, was tasked with assessing whether Dave was impaired.

In the video, Auderer can be heard callously remarking, “she is dead,” followed by callous laughter. Referring to Kandula, he dismissively states, “No, it’s a regular person.” In a shocking display of insensitivity, Auderer, amidst bursts of laughter, callously suggests, “Yeah, just write a check. Eleven thousand dollars. She was 26 anyway,” inaccurately stating the victim’s age. He further devalues her life by saying, “She had limited value.”

While Auderer argues that there was no need for a criminal investigation, a police report referred to prosecutors for review revealed that Dave had been driving at an alarming speed of 74 mph, causing Kandula to be thrown more than 100 feet upon impact.

Demand for Justice

India has vehemently demanded a thorough investigation into this distressing incident and calls for action against those responsible for this tragedy. The Consulate General of India in San Francisco has expressed deep concern over the handling of Jaahnavi Kandula’s case, emphasizing the need for justice.

In a statement, the Consulate General wrote, “Recent reports, including in the media, of the handling of Ms. Jaahnavi Kandula’s death in a road accident in Seattle in January are deeply troubling. We have taken up the matter strongly with local authorities in Seattle & Washington State, as well as senior officials in Washington DC, for a thorough investigation & action against those involved in this tragic case. The Consulate & Embassy will continue to closely follow up on this matter with all concerned authorities.”

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