Jaahnavi Kandula death: US cop who ran over Indian student won't face charges | World News - Hindustan Times

Jaahnavi Kandula death: US cop who ran over Indian student won't face criminal charges

Feb 22, 2024 11:08 AM IST

The police officer who ran over Indian student Jaahnvi Kandula is facing no criminal charges due to lack of “sufficient” evidence.

Kevin Dave, the Seattle police officer who ran over and killed Indian student Jaahnavi Kandula while responding to an overdose call, will not be facing any criminal charges due to lack of sufficient evidence, said the authorities.

Jaahnavi Kandula was killed on January 23 by a speeding car being driven by a cop (GoFundMe)
Jaahnavi Kandula was killed on January 23 by a speeding car being driven by a cop (GoFundMe)

The King County Prosecutor's Office said on Wednesday that they will not be moving ahead with the trail against Seattle Police Officer Kevin Dave, not pressing any criminal charges against him.

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The King County Prosecuting Attorney released a statement on Wednesday saying, "Kandula’s death is heartbreaking and impacted communities in King County and across the world."

Jaahnavi Kandula, a 23 year old Indian student residing in Seattle, was struck by a police vehicle driven by Officer Dave when she was crossing a street in Seattle on January 23. Dave was responding to a drug overdose call, and was driving his vehicle at around 120 kmph at the time of the incident.

Kandula was thrown 100 feet when she was struck by the speeding police patrol vehicle, and died instantly after the incident.

In bodycam footage released by the Seattle Police Department, officer Daniel Auderer laughed about the deadly crash and dismissed any implication Dave might be at fault or that a criminal investigation was necessary.

“It is the responsibility of the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office to review all available evidence relating to the case involving Seattle Police Officer Kevin Dave and the January 2023 collision death of Jaahnavi Kandula. After staffing this case with senior deputy prosecuting attorneys and office leadership, I have determined that we lack sufficient evidence under Washington State law to prove a criminal case beyond a reasonable doubt,” said Prosecuting Attorney Leesa Manion.

Controversy over bodycam footage

The bodycam footage from Jaahnavi Kandula's death sparked a major controversy as Seattle police officer Danier Auderer was heard laughing at the crash while pointing out that the student had died.

Auderer, who was not involved in the January collision, was captured in the video saying, "But she is dead" and laughing while on the phone. "She was 26 anyway," Auderer said in the video. "She had limited value."

After his comments on Kandula's death sparked backlash against the police force, Auderer was pulled from patrol in September 2023 and reassigned to a "non-operational position."

(With inputs from PTI)

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