Northeastern University released a statement in memory of their Indian-origin student Jaahnavi Kandula, who was murdered in January, but shocking bodycam footage of a US police officer laughing while talking about her death has recently been released.
The 23-year-old from Andhra Pradesh was hit and killed by a police car while crossing the street on January 23. According to The Seattle Times, Kevin Dave, the police officer driving the car, was driving 70 mph (119 km/h) and the graduate student’s body was thrown more than 100 feet.
Here is the statement from Northeastern University:
As many of you know, our student Jaahnavi Kandula was killed last January when she was struck by a police cruiser near Northeastern’s campus in Seattle. In the days following this tragedy, our Seattle campus community came together in a vigil of remembrance and solidarity. Our Dean Dave Thurman wrote at the time about Jaahnavi’s tremendous commitment, noting that everyone on our Seattle campus “loved her bubbly laugh, sense of humor and infectious personality. Her loss will be deeply felt by students, staff and faculty.” The university plans to award Jaahnavi her degree posthumously and present it to her family.
This week, Jaahnavi’s friends and loved ones are enduring the added pain of new developments related to this tragedy. Sensitive and insensitive comments from a Seattle police officer have become public, reopening wounds and deepening our collective heartbreak. We also recognize that our Indian student community – across campuses in the Northeast – has been especially affected by this tragedy and its aftermath. We stand in solidarity with you and are confident that the ongoing investigations will bring a degree of justice and accountability.
Northeastern is a community first. Our pursuit of knowledge is infinitely enriched by each other, by the thousands of students and educators who make up our global family. When a group of us experiences fear, we are all in pain. These are the times when we must draw strength from each other and move forward in unity. Next week we will convene campus meetings so that our community can come together in harmony. Details will be provided shortly by Northeastern Student Life and the respective campus deans.
Northeastern offers a 24/7 mental health support service called Find@Northeastern, which provides students with access to a licensed mental health practitioner at any time and from any location in the world by calling 877.233.9477 (US), 855.229. 8797 (Canada), +1.781.457.7777 (Intl.). Student support is also available from the We Care team in Student Life at [email protected] or 617.373.7591, as well as through the Student Affairs team on the Seattle campus at [email protected]. Faculty and staff can contact the Employee Assistance Program at New Directions at 800.624.5544.
Please join me in sending our sincere condolences to Jaahnavi’s family and friends.
The Seattle Police Department recently released bodycam footage from another officer who attended the scene of the January 23 crash. The footage has caused a stir as the officer, Daniel Auderer, laughed and joked about the incident. He is also heard saying, “Yeah, just write a check. $11,000. She was 26 anyway, she had limited value.”