India seeks review after cop in Jaahnavi Kandula case acquitted

Kandula’s case has been referred to Seattle City Attorney’s office for review, said India’s consulate in Seattle. 

Jaahnavi Kandula / GoFundMe

India’s consulate in Seattle has raised concerns about police officer Kevin Dane who was earlier this week acquitted of criminal charges in the death of Indian student Jaahnavi Kandula.

Kandula was struck by Kane’s overspeeding vehicle as he responded to an overdose call on January 23, 2023. A prosecution attorney said no criminal charges would be pursued in this case due to lack of “significant” evidence under state laws, that were enough to file the charges. 

The Indian consulate stepped in to seek justice for Kandula after the prosecution court decided to drop charges recently. “Consulate has been in regular touch with the designated family representatives and will continue to extend all possible support in ensuring justice for Jaahnavi and her family,” read part of a post on X. 

“We have also raised the matter strongly with local authorities, including Seattle Police for appropriate redress. The case has now been referred to Seattle City Attorney’s office for review,” the consulate said, adding they will monitor Seattle Police’s administrative investigation. 

The Coalition of Hindus in North America (CoHNA), a Hinfu advocacy group in the US,  also voiced their concern over the violation of civil rights after the court’s decision came in. “Where is #justice for the family of this young international student, run over in a #Seattle sidewalk by a police car?” the advocacy group said in a post on X. 

CoHNA said it was “doubly shocking” that such “serious violation of the civil rights of #Hindus of different backgrounds and ages do not even merit any restorative justice.” 

Kane was driving at 120 kmph while he responded to the overdose call. Kandula who was crossing the street was struck and thrown 100 feet away resulting in her death. Additionally, bodycam audio released by the Seattle Police Department revealed inappropriate comments made by another officer regarding the incident, resulting in backlash from several quarters.