The Cost of a Life? $11k According to Seattle Officer

VDB Photos /
VDB Photos /

We don’t typically assign values to lives. If someone dies, there’s no way to measure how much their life meant – especially to their loved ones. Sure, some in Hollywood would argue that their hair, their mustache, or even their rear should be insured for $1 million or more, but that’s just insane.

In Seattle, a police officer, Kevin Dave, had the audacity to be flippant about assigning a price tag to a woman who was killed – and he did it all while his body cam was recording.

Here’s what happened…

An officer was responding to a priority 911 call. His body camera footage shows that he was accelerating fast and blowing through red lights. His odometer hits over 70 miles per hour. And he hit and killed a woman on the road.

While this happened in January of this year, the new video footage is allowing for a proper investigation.

Jaahnavi Kandula was the name of the woman who was hit and killed. She was a student at Northeast University. She was at the crosswalk.

Dave performed CPR on Kandula, and several first responders began showing up on the scene.

There’s a question about whether Dave complied with the policy or not. His story is that Kandula hurried across the crosswalk but should have stayed back as soon as she heard the sirens. However, with the speed at which he was traveling, there’s also a question about whether she would have realized he was going to be there as quickly as he did – especially since the speed limit on the road where the event happened was only 25 mph.

Here’s where it gets disgusting.

At some point, Dave is heard talking about the questions that he has and how he was told to just sit there. Another officer, Daniel Auderer, who is also the VP of the Seattle Police Officers Guild, is heard talking to someone on the phone who said, “Yeah, just write a check. $11,000. She was 26 anyway, she had limited value.” He was chucking while he said this.

While Auderer may feel he has the credentials to put a price on a life, no one else does.

There’s a full investigation being done.

Meanwhile, Auderer’s comments have been called out. He explained that he was trying to mock city lawyers. He has said, “I do understand that if a citizen were to hear it that they would rightfully believe I was being insensitive to the loss of a human life.  I also understand that if I heard it (it) could diminish the trust in the Seattle Police Department and make all of our jobs more difficult. With all that being said, the comment was not made with malice or a hard heart. (It was) quite the opposite.”

It’s people like this and incidents like these that explain why police departments all over the country are being attacked.