Jaahnavi Kandula Death: What we know so far about the Indian student killed by speeding Seattle police car
Jaahnavi Kandula was hit at the intersection of Dexter Avenue North and Thomas Street within moments of the car reaching the top speed
India’s ambassador to the United States sought quick action after a recording revealed comments made by a Seattle PD union leader about the death of a young Indian woman who was killed by a police cruiser. In the body camera footage, the union leader is heard saying her life had “limited value” and the city should “write a check.”
Jaahnavi arrived in Seattle from Bengaluru, India, in 2021 to receive a master’s degree, and was pursuing a Master of Science in Information Systems at the College of Engineering. She was set to graduate this December.
Jaahnavi was hit at the intersection of Dexter Avenue North and Thomas Street within moments of the car reaching the top speed, according to Fox13 Seattle. She was taken to Harborview Medical Center where she succumbed to her injuries.
Here’s everything you need to know about the case.
- A horrifying body camera footage released in July captured the tragic death of Jaahnavi Kandula. She was killed on January 23. Behind the wheel of the vehicle that caused the tragedy was Seattle officer Kevin Dave.
- In a body camera video, one can hear a loud roar from the engine as Kevin’s speedometer showed an acceleration of up to 74 miles per hour. Jaahnavi, 23, was hit while she was crossing the road.
- Kevin was reportedly responding to a “high priority” call when the incident took place. He had chirped his siren, but did not have it running consistently, video footage released by prosecutors and published in part by PubliCola revealed.
- Reportedly, prosecutors have been weighing charges against Kevin for failing to “warn others of the emergency nature of the situation.” “I f–ked up,” Kevin was heard saying after the incident.
- Bodycam footage shows the officer performing CPR on Jaahnavi. “Lights were on. I was chirping the sirens…she was in the crosswalk. She saw me, she started running through the crosswalk. Slammed on my breaks. Started staying back where she should before crossing,” Kevin can be heard telling a responding officer.
- Kevin said in another bodycam footage, “I can have a hundred minutes. I could have…there’s nothing for me to do right now, but sit. And that is the f–king worst thing that…you just have to sit here. So many questions that are unanswered, so many questions.” The Office of Police Accountability is continuing to investigate whether Kevin complied with department policy.
- Late in September, a body-worn camera captured Seattle Police Department union leader Daniel Auderer laughing and saying Jaahnavi’s life had “limited value” and the city should “just write a check.” Daniel, who is a drug recognition expert, was asked to examine whether Kevin was impaired, according to The Seattle Times. Daniel later called guild President Mike Solan to report what happened, following which he made the remarks. “Eleven thousand dollars. She was 26 anyway,” Daniel said, stating the Jaahnavi’s age inaccurately. “She had limited value.” Mike’s remarks were not captured in the recording.
- Jason Rantz, a talk radio host on KTTH-AM, later said that he had obtained a written statement that Daniel provided to the city’s Office of Police Accountability. Daniel reportedly said in the statement that his remarks were intended to mimic how the city’s attorneys might react to the death.
- The Seattle Police Department wrote on its online blotter that the video “was identified in the routine course of business by a department employee, who, concerned about the nature of statements heard on that video, appropriately escalated their concerns through their chain of command.”
- After Jaahnavi’s death, her uncle, Ashok Mandula, of Houston, told The Seattle Times, “The family has nothing to say. Except I wonder if these men’s daughters or granddaughters have value. A life is a life.”