The independent student newspaper of Northeastern University

The Huntington News

The independent student newspaper of Northeastern University

The Huntington News

The independent student newspaper of Northeastern University

The Huntington News



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Northeastern calls SPD body cam footage ‘callous and insensitive;’ SGA, GSG release joint statement

In an email to all students, staff and faculty Thursday afternoon, Chancellor Kenneth Henderson called the remarks made in the recently released body camera footage by Seattle Police Department Officer Daniel Auderer laughing and joking about the death of Jaahnavi Kandula “callous and insensitive,” and promised upcoming campus gatherings “to allow our community to join together in harmony.”

“This week, Jaahnavi’s friends and loved ones are enduring the additional pain of new developments related to this tragedy,” Henderson wrote. “We also recognize that our Indian student community — across all Northeastern campuses — has been especially impacted by this tragedy and its aftermath. We stand in solidarity with you and have every expectation that the ongoing investigations will bring a measure of justice and accountability.”

Kandula, a 23-year-old graduate student studying information systems at Northeastern’s Seattle campus, was killed after Seattle Police Department, or SPD, Officer Kevin Dave struck her at a reported speed of 63 miles per hour in a police cruiser Jan. 23. 

Henderson wrote that the university plans to honor Kandula’s degree posthumously and will present it to her family.

“Northeastern is, first and foremost, a community. Our pursuit of knowledge is infinitely enriched by one another — by the thousands of learners and educators who make up our global family. When a group of us are experiencing anguish, we are all in pain,” Henderson wrote. “These are the times that we must draw strength from each other and move forward in unity.”



The university released the statement after declining to comment on the video in a Wednesday email to The News, citing “ongoing litigation.” 

NU Sanskriti, Northeastern’s Indian student association, reached out to university administration Wednesday expressing concerns and disappointment. As of the time of publication, NU Sanskriti told The News it had not received a direct reply.

Earlier on Thursday Northeastern’s Student Government Association, or SGA, and Graduate Student Government, or GSG, released a joint statement on Instagram calling the body camera footage “deeply troubling.” 

“Such behavior is unacceptable and does not align with the values of empathy, respect and compassion we hold dear in our community,” the statement read. Auderer was heard on the footage released by SPD Monday saying Kandula had “limited value.”

“We appreciate the action taken by the Seattle Police Department in releasing this footage and initiating an investigation into [the] Officer’s actions,” SGA and GSG’s statement continued. “It is essential that justice is served and accountability is upheld in this matter.”

The video was published after a department employee escalated concerns about statements made on the body camera footage, according to a statement prefacing the footage on SPD’s YouTube channel. The News confirmed Tuesday that Seattle’s Office of Police Accountability is currently investigating whether Auderer violated SPD’s code of conduct

The statement said the SGA and GSG are committed to “promoting a safe and inclusive environment for all community members” and will “advocate for positive changes that contribute to a more just and equitable society,” adding that they will monitor the situation and be in contact with “relevant stakeholders” to ensure justice. 

The Instagram post named various resources for students to access, including mental health services like Find@Northeastern, Lean On Me Northeastern and the Center for Spirituality, Dialogue and Service. The post also included a number to contact the Samaritans Statewide Helpline for those “who may not be comfortable contacting police during a mental health crisis.” The university’s statement also directed students to We Care and the Student Affairs team on the Seattle campus. 

Other community responses included a statement from the Consulate General of India in San Francisco, which tweeted echoing the “deeply troubling” nature of the footage and saying it has “taken up the matter strongly with local authorities in Seattle & Washington State as well as senior officials in Washington DC.” The post was retweeted by the Embassy of India in Washington, D.C.

“In the memory of Jaahnavi Kandula, let us renew our commitment to creating a more compassionate and just society,” SGA and GSG’s joint statement read. 

About the Contributors
Marta Hill
Marta Hill, Editor-at-Large
Marta Hill (she/her) is a fourth-year journalism major and the editor-at-large of The News. Before becoming editor-in-large, she served as editor-in-chief for a year and previously held the positions of campus editor, deputy campus editor and a variety of staff roles. Marta currently works for NASA as a science writer and hopes to keep the entire campus community up to date on matters concerning Northeastern. You can follow her @martajhill on Twitter.
Emily Spatz
Emily Spatz, Campus Editor
Emily Spatz is a journalism and political science combined major with a minor in english and campus editor of The News. She is currently a general assignment reporter co-op at and has interned at her hometown newspaper covering business, city events and politics. She hopes to continue bringing pertinent, timely and thorough reporting to the Northeastern community. You can follow her @emilymspatz on X.
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