Jaahnavi Kandula
A photo of Jaahnavi Kandula is displayed with flowers, Sunday, Jan. 29, 2023 in Seattle, at the intersection where she was killed by a Seattle Police officer driving north while responding to a nearby medical incident. Image Credit: AP

New York: A video clip of Seattle Police Officers’ Guild Vice President Daniel Auderer has gone viral and netizens across the globe have been reacting to the brazen comments made by the police officer following the death of 23-year-old Indian student Jaahnavi Kandula.

Social media users have been posting irate reactions following the release of a bodycam video in which the cop is heard joking and laughing about the Indian student's death by a police patrol car this year.

He can be heard saying, "she had limited value", in a call with the guild’s president, Mike Solan, The Seattle Times reported this week.

Eleven thousand dollars. She was 26 anyway.

- Seattle Police Officers’ Guild Vice President Daniel Auderer on phone call

The Consulate General of India in San Francisco on Wednesday termed the incident as "deeply troubling".

"We have taken up the matter strongly with local authorities in Seattle & Washington State as well as senior officials in Washington D.C. for a thorough investigation & action against those involved in this tragic case," the consulate said in a post on X (formerly Twitter).

What happened?

Kandula, a 23-year-old student of Northeastern University campus in South Lake Union, was walking near Dexter Avenue North and Thomas Street when she was hit by a Seattle Police vehicle driven by Kevin Dave on January 23.

Auderer, who was assigned to check whether Dave was under any influence, inadvertently left his body camera on, in which he was heard laughing and saying that Kandula’s life had “limited value” and the city should “just write a check”.

“Eleven thousand dollars. She was 26 anyway,” Auderer said, adding Dave was “going 50 (miles an hour)", stating how “that’s not out of control” for a trained driver.

A police investigation released in June found that Dave was actually travelling at 74 miles an hour in a 25 mile an hour zone while responding to a different call when Kandula was hit and thrown more than 100 feet.

The SPD said in a statement released on Monday that the video of Auderer’s call “was identified in the routine course of business by a department employee”, and was escalated to Chief Adrian Diaz.

Following the chain of command, the employee then escalated it to the Office of Police Accountability (OPA) for a review, the statement added. Stating that it released the video “in the interest of transparency”, the SPD said it will not comment further on the video until the OPA completes its investigation.