Following the tragic death of Jaahnavi Kandula, the 23-year-old Indian student, Northeastern University in Washington made the decision to grant her a posthumous degree. This announcement was made on Thursday.
Kandula, a graduate student, lost her life in January when she was struck by a police car travelling at an excessive speed of 74 miles per hour in a 25-mile-per-hour zone while she was crossing the road at a pedestrian crossing. “In the days following this tragedy, our Seattle campus community joined together in a vigil of remembrance and solidarity…Her loss will be felt deeply by students, staff, and faculty…The university plans to award Jaahnavi her degree posthumously and present it to her family,” chancellor Kenneth W. Henderson said, via a Facebook post from the university’s official handle.
Kandula was working toward graduating in December with a master’s degree in information systems.
The incident gained traction again after the bodycam footage of a police officer surfaced, in which another officer was seen making insensitive comments about the student’s death. Kandula was killed when police officer Kevin Dave was over speeding while on the way to a report of an overdose, the Seattle Times newspaper reported on Monday.
In the video, Daniel Auderer, the officer who responded to the crash scene and is captured on body camera while dismissing the fatal collision, can be heard saying, “Yeah, just write a check. USD 11,000. She was 26 anyway, she had limited value.”
The incident has sparked massive outrage and allegations of brutality. People took to social media to express their concerns about the culture within the police department and demanded accountability and justice for the young student.
US lawmakers and Indian-Americans have expressed outrage over the death of Kandula while the Joe Biden administration responded by assuring the Indian government of a swift and thorough investigation into the incident.
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.
Kandula hailed from Andhra Pradesh.