Officer Daniel Auderer claimed his cold-hearted laughter at 23-year-old Jaahnavi Kandula’s death and jokes that the city should “just write a check” were taken out of context.
Source: New York Post
The Seattle cop who joked about the death of a graduate student who was fatally struck by a police cruiser while crossing the street defended his callous remarks in a statement released Friday.
Officer Daniel Auderer claimed his cold-hearted laughter at 23-year-old Jaahnavi Kandula’s death and jokes that the city should “just write a check” were taken out of context during a private call he didn’t know was being recorded by his department-issued body camera.
The cop had just responded to the Jan. 23 fatal crash and was speaking with Seattle Police Officers Guild President Mike Solan to update him when he made the remarks.
“She is dead,” Auderer says before bursting out laughing. “No, it’s a regular person,” he says, referring to Kandula.
The Police Union knew immediately that they had a crisis on their hands, but instead of thinking of the victim, or her family, their first thoughts were to public relations and minimizing the fallout. On that, they’ve failed completely.
At the end of the disturbing clip, Auderer cackled that the city should just pay for the devastation one of its officers caused: “Eleven thousand dollars. She was 26 anyway,” he said, misstating the victim’s age. “She had limited value.”
After learning that his insensitive quips were in the hands of the department, Auderer submitted an Aug. 8 letter to the officer’s guild defending his actions and requesting an expedited employee misconduct investigation, the union said Friday.
Ok, so on the face of it, Auderer just sounds like a lunatic and a monster. What possible explanation could he have? Why, he was just joking around, of course.
Auderer asserted that his laughter was aimed at the ridiculousness of how incidents are litigated before pointing out that he didn’t realize his private conversation was being recorded.
“I understand that without context the comment could be interpreted as horrifying and crude. Without context the comment is insensitive to the family of the victim when in reality I was involved in a conversation regarding the callousness of the legal system,” he said.
The officers’ guild backed up Auderer’s claims of innocence, stating that the existing video that gained viral status in the immediate wake of its release fails to “explain the full story/context.”
Now, in the real world, where people are held accountable for their actions, he’d be fired immediately. But in the police world where their unions run rampant, that is not the case and they’ll always back up even bad cops who damage the force’s reputation.
Here’s their statement.