The Indian consulate in San Francisco has expressed strong concern over the handling of the incident where an Indian national was struck by a police car in Seattle. During this incident, a body camera captured audio of the responding police officer making jokes and suggesting that the victim’s life had “limited value.”

On Monday, The Seattle Times reported that a police watchdog agency is investigating police union leaders based on the body camera audio, in which they were heard laughing and joking to downplay the death of 23-year-old Jaahnavi Kandula, a student at Northeastern University.

The Indian consulate took to Twitter to express deep concern regarding the “handling” of Kandula’s death. They have vigorously raised the matter with local authorities in Seattle and Washington State, as well as with senior officials in Washington DC. Their aim is to ensure a comprehensive investigation and appropriate action against those involved in this tragic case. The Indian Consulate and Embassy will closely monitor the situation in coordination with all relevant authorities.

In January of this year, Jaahnavi Kandula was struck by a police officer named Kevin Dave while he was responding to a call. Another police officer, Daniel Auderer, who is the vice president of the Seattle Police Officers Guild, was tasked with checking whether Officer Dave was under the influence. Auderer inadvertently left his body camera on, recording a call he made to the guild president, Mike Solan.

In the audio recording, Auderer laughed and made comments implying that Kandula’s life had “limited value” and that the city should simply “write a check.” He inaccurately stated her age as 26 and added that “she had limited value.”

Jaahnavi Kandula, a 23-year-old student, was on track to graduate this year with a master’s degree in information systems. Her family revealed that she was working to support her mother in India. Kandula’s uncle, Ashok Mandula, expressed his dismay over the body camera audio reports and questioned whether the daughters or granddaughters of these men would be treated the same way, emphasizing that a life is a life.

US Congressman Ro Khanna responded to the incident, directing a message at Auderer, stating that “the life of every Indian immigrant has infinite value.”

Kandula was scheduled to graduate in December with a master’s degree in information systems from the Seattle campus of Northeastern University. Her family had anticipated her supporting her mother in India. Instead, her uncle, Ashok Mandula, had to make arrangements to send her body back to her mother.

A conservative talk show host claimed to have obtained a statement from Auderer stating that his remarks may sound bad when taken out of context.

Seattle Police Chief Adrian Diaz reported that the department became aware of the conversation through an employee who overheard it during the “routine course of business.” Subsequently, the Seattle Police Department contacted the Office of Police Accountability in early August, which is currently conducting the investigation.

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