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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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Seattle police officer who struck, killed Northeastern graduate student issued traffic infraction

Kevin Dave, the police officer who struck Kandula in his cruiser in January 2023. Photo courtesy Lucy Parsons Labs.

The Seattle police officer who struck and killed Northeastern graduate student Jaahnavi Kandula last year has been issued a traffic infraction for second-degree negligent driving, according to legal documents acquired by The News.

Kevin Dave, the officer who was driving over 60 mph in a police cruiser when he fatally struck 23-year-old Kandula in a designated crosswalk in January 2023, was issued a traffic infraction by the Seattle City Attorney’s Office March 1, according to a copy of the infraction report provided to The News by the Seattle Municipal Court.

23-022231IN – INFRACTION_Redacted

Dave faces a fine of up to $5,000 for the infraction, which was filed in Seattle Municipal Court. The Seattle Police Department referred the infraction to the City Attorney’s Office, the Seattle Times reported late last month.

In February, King County Prosecutor Leesa Manion said Dave would not face felony charges as a result of the incident due to a lack of evidence needed to prove a criminal case that Dave was driving impaired, recklessly or with disregard for the safety of others, The News previously reported. Seattle is in King County, Washington.

Kandula’s family told the Seattle Times last month that they are “shocked and disappointed” by Manion’s decision to not pursue criminal charges and would use their “legal rights to obtain justice for Jaahnavi even though the city of Seattle has failed to do so.” Kandula was studying information systems at the College of Engineering at Northeastern’s Seattle campus at the time of her death.

Dave struck Kandula while driving his police cruiser at 74 mph in a 25 mph zone while responding to a “priority one” call involving a drug overdose when he struck Kandula, who was walking in a crosswalk, according to an incident report. Dave was using his emergency lights but only “chirped” his emergency siren upon approaching the intersection, the report said.

Kandula’s death sparked international outrage after another Seattle police officer, Daniel Auderer, was heard on body camera footage laughing and minimizing her death. Auderer was reassigned to a non-operational position in October 2023, and the city’s police oversight commission found that he broke the department’s professionalism and biased-based policing policies, The News previously reported.

According to the Seattle Municipal Code, second-degree negligent driving amounts to driving in a “manner that is both negligent and endangers or is likely to endanger any person or property” and results in the death or substantial bodily harm of a “vulnerable user of a public way.” Another second-degree negligent driving charge under Seattle law does not involve a vulnerable user and holds a penalty of $250.

The infraction issued against Dave specifies that Dave is facing a second-degree negligent driving charge that includes a vulnerable user victim.

Penalties for the second-degree negligent driving charge with a vulnerable victim include a fine of up to $5,000 but no less than $1,000 and a 90-day driving privilege suspension, according to Washington state law.

About the Contributor
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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