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US assures prompt action after viral video shows cop laughs over death of Indian student killed by patrol car

Kandula was killed in January after she was struck by a police vehicle driven by Officer Kevin Dave

Edited By: Ajeet Kumar @Ajeet1994 Seattle (US) Published on: September 14, 2023 12:20 IST
A portrait of Indian student Jaahnavi Kandula who was
Image Source : TWITTER A portrait of Indian student Jaahnavi Kandula who was killed by US Police patrol car.

The Biden administration has assured the Indian government of a quick investigation into the death of Indian student Jaahnavi Kandula in Seattle after being struck by a speeding police patrol car and bringing to justice the police officers who were responsible for it.

The US government swung into action after India’s Ambassador to the US, Taranjit Singh Sandhu, strongly raised the issue at the highest level in Washington and sought prompt action on the killing of Kandula, and the highly insensitive behaviour of the police officer in Seattle in Washington state.

Kandula was killed in January after she was struck by a police vehicle driven by Officer Kevin Dave. He was driving more than 119 kmph on the way to a report of an overdose, the Seattle Times newspaper reported on Monday.

Officer Daniel Auderer laughed about the deadly crash 

In bodycam footage released on Monday 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.

US lawmakers and Indian-Americans have expressed outrage over the death of Kandula.

The Biden administration has assured the Indian government of a quick investigation into the incident and bring to justice the police officers who were responsible for it. Senior administration officials are believed to have assured the Ambassador and the Indian government that the entire incident has been taken very seriously by them.

They are monitoring its investigation from Washington DC the progress of the case to ensure that there is adequate accountability. Officials said that they were “shocked” and “horrified” at this incident.

India terms the handling of Kandula's death as "deeply troubling"

The Consulate General of India in San Francisco on Wednesday termed the handling of Kandula's death as "deeply troubling".

"We have taken up the matter strongly with local authorities in Seattle and Washington State as well as senior officials in Washington DC for a thorough investigation and action against those involved in this tragic case," the mission said in a post on platform X.

"The Consulate & Embassy will continue to closely follow up on this matter with all concerned authorities," it added.

Congressman Ro Khanna also takes a dig at the officer who laughed at the death of Jaahnavi 

“Jaahnavi Kandula came here for graduate work from India. She was killed on a crosswalk by a speeding police car, and Officer Auderer said her life had “limited value.” I thought of my dad who came here in his 20s.

Mr. Auderer, the life of every Indian immigrant has infinite value,” Indian-American Congressman Ro Khanna said.

“Anyone who thinks that a human life has “limited value” should not be serving in law enforcement,” Khanna said.

Indian-American Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal said: “This is appalling. I hope to see justice for Jaahnavi Kandula's family and accountability for those involved."

Seattle Mayor says comment made by officer does not reflect the feelings of the city

In a letter to the Kandula family, Seattle City Mayor Bruce Harrell said that the comments made by one person do not reflect the feelings of the city or the communities that call it home.

“We recognise that Jaahnavi's death is a loss for our whole community – the loss of a young woman who had so much life ahead of her to do amazing things and share that joy with loved ones,” Harrell said in his communication to the Kandula family.

The Seattle Office of Police Accountability said that it has opened an investigation into the incident and they need to complete it before January 29.

(With inputs from agency)

Also Read: US cop laughs over death of Indian student killed by police patrol car, probe ordered | WATCH

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