Seattle Police Officers Guild – Official Statement Regarding Officer Dan Auderer Video

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

September 15, 2023

mail@seattlepoliceguild.org

 

The Seattle Police Officers’ Guild understands the attention and outrage surrounding the viral video which captures highly insensitive comments regarding the death of Jaahnavi Kandula by Officer Dan Auderer. Without context, this audio is horrifying and has no place in a civil society. It sullens the profession of law enforcement, the reputation of all Seattle Police officers and paints Seattle in a terrible light. We feel deep sorrow and grief for the family of Jaahnavi Kandula as this video has revictimized them in an already tragic situation as they continue to mourn her death. We are truly sorry.

Some viral videos of police actions shared by media, fail to explain the full story/context. This Seattle Police video is an example of that reality. The video captures only one side of the conversation. There is much more detail and nuance that has not been made public yet… SPOG has full confidence that the civilian led police accountability system known as the Office of Police Accountability / OPA will conduct a thorough and fair investigation.

Furthermore, SPOG wants our community to know the actions that Dan took to hold himself accountable. Upon being made aware of the existence of this video, Dan immediately took ownership of his actions and authored a statement requesting that the Director of OPA (Gino Betts) consider the course of “Rapid Adjudication”.  Rapid Adjudication is a disciplinary process that was agreed to by the City of Seattle and the SPOG to expedite police employee misconduct investigations so accountability can be swiftly addressed, and reasonable discipline imposed. This was done by Dan more than 4 weeks before the release of the video.

There is no doubt that any loss of life is tragic. We as police officers swear an oath of service that mandates that we do our best to protect and preserve life at all costs, even if we were to lose our own lives in the performance of our duties. With that understood, we also know that in our service to others, tragedy can strike at any moment. This was unfortunately the case in the tragic death of Jaahnavi Kandula.

For clarity, we have included Dan’s statement to Director Betts below. Dan authored this statement directly from memory and without the ability to watch the video. This vital contextual information has not been included in most of the media coverage.

Respectfully,

Seattle Police Officers Guild

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Officer Daniel Auderer’s Statement to the Office of Police Accountability

DATE: August 8, 2023

Officer Daniel Auderer

Seattle Police Department

CRG

 

Gino Betts

Director

Office of Police Accountability

 

Dear Director Betts,

On January 23, 2023 I was dispatched from home to assist with a fatality collision involving a city vehicle. I am typically dispatched to most of the cities major injury collisions and fatalities. My duty during these incidents is to investigate the drivers of vehicles for signs of impairment that would make them unsafe to operate a motor vehicle. While enroute I was notified that a young adult female was severely injured after being hit by an SPD Patrol car. Before arriving I was notified that the female had passed. I received no other information (which is not uncommon). I did not respond to the scene which is common in most incidents. I will contact drivers blocks from the scene or in the hospital. I responded to the location of the involved driver (West Precinct). After completing my investigation I left the Precinct.

While enroute home I called Mike Solan to give him an update regarding what had occurred. The phone call was inadvertently recorded on my BWV which had turned on. The conversation took place in my patrol car. I was the only occupant. During that phone call Mike Solan stated something to the effect that it was unfortunate that this would turn into lawyers arguing ‘The value of human life.’ Mike Solan asked me as he was lamenting the loss of life something similar to: ‘ What crazy argument can a lawyer make in something like this? What crazy thing can they come up with.’ I responded with something like: ‘She’s 26 years old, what value is there, who cares.’ I intended the comment as a mockery of lawyers – I was imitating what a lawyer tasked with negotiating the case would be saying and being sarcastic to express that they shouldn’t be coming up with crazy arguments to minimize the payment. I laughed at the ridiculousness of how these incidents are litigated and the ridiculousness of how I have watched these incidents play out as two parties bargain over a tragedy. At the time I believed the conversation was private and not being recorded. The conversation was also not within the course of my duties.

I understand that without context the comment could be interpreted as horrifying and crude. Without context the comment is insensitive to the family of the victim when in reality I was involved in a conversation regarding the callousness of the legal system. At the time I had no idea who the victim was. All I knew was the persons approximate age and sex. That being said I do understand that one side of the conversation was recorded on my BWV. 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 heard it could diminish the trust in the Seattle Police Department and make all of our jobs more difficult. With all of that being said the comment was not made with malice or a hard heart, quite the opposite.  My intent in requesting rapid adjudication is to be as transparent as possible. I am willing to accept any reasonable discipline our accountability partners and the Chief of Police wish to hand down.

Respectfully,

Daniel Auderer #7499

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Seattle Police Officers Guild Statement Regarding Uniformed Officers Being Banned from the Seattle Pride Parade

The Seattle Police Officers Guild once again strongly disagrees with the decision to ban uniformed Seattle Police officers from marching in Seattle’s Pride Parade.  In response SPOG President Mike Solan said, “SPOG members took an oath to serve our entire community equally and without discrimination.  It’s a shame to see that the commitment to equality and inclusion doesn’t flow in both directions.”

Solan added the following on the banishment of uniformed Seattle Officers from Pride events, “Banning uniformed Seattle Police officers from Pride events is disgusting, bigoted, discriminatory and contradicts our community’s beautiful inclusive LGBTQ message. SPOG LGBTQ members serve our community with distinction and pride. They value inclusiveness and demand respect not only for proudly being LGBTQ but for serving our community as police officers. Anyone that believes in their banishment has no place in Seattle and does not believe in the inclusive LGBTQ message. To date, close to 600 police officers have left our agency. The bigoted decisions banning uniformed officers from Pride events do not aid in stopping this mass exodus of cops. All we ask as SPOG members is some reasonable messaging of support from our elected officials and people in positions of power/influence. Police are fantastic human beings especially SPOG members.”

The Seattle Police Officers’ Guild represents officers and sergeants within SPD. They are currently working under an expired labor contract now 2.5 years and counting. It’s time the city delivers a fair and competitive labor contract. The Seattle community cannot stand to lose more of our professional police officers. Public Safety continues to be at risk.

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Seattle Police Officers Guild Statement Regarding the Compliance Agreement Filed with the Department of Justice

Today the joint compliance agreement filing between the City of Seattle and the Department of Justice memorializes the significant steps that SPOG members have taken to make the Seattle Police Department the model of public safety reform and the most transparent police agency in the country.

In response, Seattle Police Officers Guild president Mike Solan commented: “Despite losing almost 600 officers since 2020, we’ve done the hard work required and now it’s time for Mayor Harrell and the City Council to do their part and deliver a fair and competitive contract to our officers.  This will ensure the retention of our current officers, and the ability to recruit the finest candidates for future policing careers in Seattle.”

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Statements from City of Seattle Leaders on Memphis Police Video

Seattle – Today, City of Seattle elected and public safety leaders released the following statements regarding video released of the beating of Tyre Nichols in Memphis, Tennessee.

Statement from Mayor Bruce Harrell:

“The appalling, egregious, heinous beating death of Tyre Nichols is devastating – for his family, for his community, and for all of us. Unconscionable violence has no role in policing and is in direct opposition to keeping people safe. This is the kind of event that compromises and erodes trust in law enforcement not just in Memphis, but in cities and communities across the country. While the officers responsible have been terminated and charged, additional investigations and actions must create further accountability. Proactive, preventative measures, like those we have pioneered in Seattle, must be at the forefront of reform, not an afterthought when tragedies like this occur. I am proud that our Seattle Police Officers have openly rejected this injustice and violence.

“We feel for Tyre’s family and for the people of Memphis, and we are committed to ensuring something like this does not happen in Seattle. The last several years in Seattle and Washington state have demonstrated our commitment to equitable and constitutional policing and diversified responses, along with showcasing how deliberative legislative action and community engagement can advance those goals.

“George Floyd’s murder was an inspiration for my run for mayor, based on a belief that unjust force, racism, and bias in policing can and must be eradicated by elevating true public safety for all communities through an embrace of human dignity, accountability, and innovation. We work with officers every day to ensure a culture that embodies de-escalation, respect, and community values. We are also advancing solutions to diversify emergency response and ensure all people get the care they need. This work must continue in our policies and in our practice.

“There is always room to learn, grow, and improve – and it is always the right time to stand against injustice. I encourage Seattle residents to continue pushing for true safety and accountability in systems of policing across the country, recognizing that this vision is best realized through thoughtful dialogue and peaceful demonstration.”

Statement from City Council President Debora Juarez:

“The death of Tyre Nichols stands in opposition to everything we aim to achieve in a trusted and effective police department. My Council colleagues and I stand united with community members across the city, dedicated to guaranteeing constitutional, accountable policing in Seattle. Nothing is more critical to driving real accountability for officers and our department than a strong and comprehensive accountability system. Working with the mayor, SPD, our accountability offices and partners, and our Seattle community, we will continue pursuing necessary reforms and creative new ideas to deliver transparency, safety, and fairness for every Seattle resident. As we lament Tyre’s unnecessary and tragic death, I welcome continued reflection and ongoing conversation with our community to further move SPD forward, so this kind of police violence cannot happen here.”

Statement from Chief of Police Adrian Z. Diaz:

“I have been monitoring the recent death of a community member in Memphis, Tennessee. This incident has caused great concern at the police officer response and was so horrific the Memphis police chief immediately terminated the officers involved. What happened to Tyre Nichols should not have happened, and I grieve his loss. 

“The Seattle Police Department still has work to do to ensure the equitable treatment of all people. However, I also want to highlight the significant progress this department is making to be responsive to community needs, address public safety, and hold officers accountable for their actions. I am committed to having the right policies, procedures, training, and accountability processes in place to ensure what happened to Mr. Nichols never occurs in our city because of changes we’ve made within SPD.

“Across the department, we are 100% focused on providing equitable public safety services for all people. Use of Force by SPD officers decreased 48% in 2021 compared to 2015. Complaints to the Office of Police Accountability fell by 50% in 2022 compared to 2019.

“SPD also acknowledges the vision of Mayor Bruce Harrell’s One Seattle requires fair public safety, and our policies reflect the recommendations by members of the community and our accountability partners, including the Office of the Inspector General, the Office of Police Accountability, and the Community Police Commission.

“Everyone at the Seattle Police Department understands people may be inspired to voice their on-going concerns about the criminal justice system in Memphis, Tennessee and throughout our country, and we support the First Amendment rights of everyone. SPD simply requests that, if you gather, please do so peacefully while respecting the rights of others.”

Statement from Seattle Police Officers Guild President Mike Solan:

“The Seattle Police Officers Guild is outraged at the actions of these Memphis officers. Their egregious acts of violence are not only disgraceful, they are categorically not policing. This incident is in complete opposition to everything we stand for.

“SPOG members take an oath to protect and serve, and we live that oath every day by treating all residents of Seattle with respect, equity, and genuine care.

“As officers, we aim to fight injustice, and wish we could have stopped or prevented this terrible crime. But instead our role is now to speak out against this injustice, and then let our actions speak even louder than words.

“We have embraced the many changes within SPD meant to prevent a death like Tyre Nichols’ from happening here, and we will continue to uphold our high standard of conduct with true professionalism.

“We know this incident has devastated the citizens of Memphis and we wish them strength as they begin a difficult journey to heal as a community.”

Joint Press Conference Announcement

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 7, 2022
Contacts: Mike Solan, Mike Mansanarez, Dennis Folk
mail@seattlepoliceguild.org, mike@kcpog.com, dennis.folk@kccguild.org

Joint Press Conference Announcement

Date: Wednesday, September 7, 2022
Time: 12:00 PM
Location: King County Administration Building (Plaza) 500 4th Ave. Seattle, WA 98104

The Seattle Police Officers Guild, King County Police Officers Guild and the King County Corrections Guild will be addressing the public safety crisis that is engulfing Seattle and King County. Representing over 2000 public safety officers, they will layout a direct course of action that will lead to a significantly safer Seattle and King County region.

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SPOG’s Response to the Pride Parade’s Ban of Uniformed Officers

The Seattle Police Officers Guild strongly disagrees with the decision to ban uniformed Seattle Police officers from marching in today’s Pride Parade.  In response SPOG President Mike Solan said, “SPOG members took an oath to serve our entire community equally and without discrimination.  It’s a shame to see that the commitment to equality and inclusion doesn’t flow in both directions.”

Solan added the following on the banishment of uniformed Seattle Officers from Pride events, “Banning uniformed Seattle Police officers from Pride events is disgusting, bigoted, discriminatory and contradicts our community’s beautiful inclusive LGBTQ message. Our LGBTQ members serve our community with distinction and pride. They value inclusiveness and demand respect not only for proudly being LGBTQ but for serving our community as police officers. Anyone that believes in their banishment has no place in Seattle and does not believe in the inclusive LGBTQ message. To date, close to 500 police officers have left our agency. The bigoted decisions banning uniformed officers from Pride events do not aid in stopping this mass exodus of cops. All we ask as SPOG members is some reasonable messaging of support from our elected officials and people in positions of power/influence. Police are fantastic human beings especially SPOG members.”

The Seattle Police Officers’ Guild is the largest police labor group on the Pacific Northwest. We represent line officers and sergeants.

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Open Letter to Mayor Harrell to Address Seattle’s Violent Crime Wave

Seattle’s Public Safety, at a Tipping Point
Open Letter to Mayor Bruce Harrell

Public safety in Seattle is at a tipping point. As politicians realize their support of defunding the police was short sighted, we as a community are now dealing with the inevitable results. Sadly, in just two years, our city has lost almost half of its police officers. This grim reality has unfortunately spawned an alarming rise of violent crime. Each day, the citizens of Seattle are left to deal with the fallout of shootings, homicides, robberies and violent assaults as the scales of justice hang in the balance.

Moreover, our entire state is dealing with the reality of Seattle’s crime wave as our violence has spread to other communities. To address this alarming crime wave, our state’s politicians are now rewriting last year’s police reform laws to reflect a more moderate interpretation. While not perfect (when viewed by a reasonable officer), this is positive news.

Mayor Harrell’s promise to get control of Seattle’s public safety dilemma is also positive news. His commitment to hitting the “reset button” with the city council is politically sound and the right thing to do. We, as the city’s police officers, fully support his endeavor. As our police budget is in the hands of the council, Mayor Harrell’s success is ultimately tied to our success. Wouldn’t this then ultimately lead to Seattle’s success?

Success is what we all should strive for in our community. It is blatantly clear that Seattle is desperate for more qualified officers. The mayor must act immediately to tip the staffing scales. Equally as important to recruitment is Mayor Harrell voicing public support for our current officers. This act alone would have a profound positive impact for retaining those officers and improving morale among the rank and file. Failing to do so will be considered as more of the same from City Hall and the unprecedented loss of officers will continue to increase as will the city’s violent crime.

The overwhelming majority of Seattle police officers conduct quality policing. We take great pride in our service to Seattle; knowing that we are national law enforcement leaders in crisis response, de-escalation, training, accountability and reform. In fact, in early 2020, just before George Floyd’s murder, SPD was considered by Mayor Durkan to be a “model of police agency reform” and formally requested the DOJ to lift the Federal Settlement Agreement. Unfortunately, soon thereafter, politics prevailed over public safety, and City Hall rescinded their termination request and started Seattle down our current path of violence.

It is with all of this in mind, that I invite Mayor Harrell to open the lines of communication with SPOG; to begin charting a new path of collaboration and to put public safety before politics. Together we can remedy Seattle’s public safety crisis.

Seattle is worth saving. Wouldn’t you agree Mayor Harrell?

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K9 Officer JEDI EOW 1-5-22

The Seattle Police Officers’ Guild mourns the loss of one of our own. Yesterday K9 Officer Jedi was stabbed to death protecting his partner, other officers and our community from a person in crisis armed with a knife and a machete. Just minutes before Jedi’s death, the suspect had broken into two homes near the Seattle Police Department’s South Precinct. During Jedi’s attempted apprehension of the suspect, Jedi’s police handler was also stabbed. Thankfully he will make a full recovery.

 

SPOG’s President Mike Solan said the following on Jedi’s passing, “Jedi and his partner were an incredible police canine team and were an asset for our officers and our community. For the past five years, they’ve apprehended countless violent criminals, protected our officers and the public from harm and were lauded as one of the best Seattle Police K9 teams in SPD’s history. Losing a K9 officer is a gut punch especially given all that our members have endured in the past two years. Jedi’s loyalty to his partner was pure, real and humbling. There is no doubt that he saved the life of his partner yesterday. Rest in peace Jedi, you will forever be part of our pack and you died a HERO.”

 

If you would like to donate in Jedi’s honor, please donate to The Retired Seattle Police Canine Fund:  http://www.retiredpolicedogs.com/ The Retired Seattle Police Canine Fund is a 501(c)(3) who distributes monies and services for the care and maintenance of retired Seattle Police Canines.

K9 Officer JEDI EOW 1-5-22.

Police Unions Launch Website to Expose the ACLU’s Negative Impact on Public Safety

Police Unions Launch Website to Expose

the ACLU’s Negative Impact on Public Safety

ACLU-Watch.com will catalog their anti-victim, pro-criminal agenda

 

Seattle, WA – The old ACLU was once a strong defender of our nation’s sacred first amendment, often taking unpopular clients and causes to prevent censorship and protect the freedom of expression. Unfortunately, today’s ACLU appears to be more interested in protecting and expanding the rights of sex offenders, murderers, thieves and molesters while attempting to curtail the rights of victims who are seeking justice.

 

ACLU-Watch.com is populated with actual positions the ACLU has taken, such as:

 

  • Opposing a law in Ohio to require those that masturbate in view of or expose themselves to children to register as a sex offender, or
  • Opposing a law in Nevada to increase penalties for child sex crimes, or
  • Supporting California’s Proposition 47 that has fueled the smash and grab thefts captured on video, removed the court’s ability to order rehabilitation for habitual drug offenders and changed many felonies to misdemeanors, or
  • Opposing a law in Michigan to extend the statute of limitations for both civil and criminal cases of sexual assault against children, or
  • Opposed a law in Pennsylvania to expand victim rights and allow children to testify via video and allow witnesses with autism to testify outside a court setting, or
  • Supporting California’s Proposition 57 that the ACLU told voters would only apply to non-violent offenders seeking early release from prison. In fact, Gregory Gadlin, convicted of forcible rape, forcible child molestation and assault with a deadly weapon is now eligible for release under Proposition 57 provisions.

 

ACLU-Watch.com is designed to expose the very real and dangerous positions, policies and programs the ACLU is promoting. Our research validates that the ACLU has lost its way and is clearly more interested in zero bail, reducing felonies to misdemeanors, lowering accountability for drug offenses and fighting for the rights of molesters, murderers, and thieves instead of victims and law abiding residents,” said Mike Solan, SPOG President. “Voters beware, if the ACLU is behind a law or ballot measure where you live there is a high likelihood that it won’t make you safer,” Solan added.

The website will be updated with new categories and new material from virtually every state in the union. The ACLU-Watch project is funded by the San Jose Police Officers Association, Los Angeles Police Protective League, San Francisco Police Officers Association, Seattle Police Officers Guild, San Diego Police Officers Association, Sacramento Police Officers Association, and the Las Vegas Police Protective Association.

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SPOG Response to City Council Vote

SPOG RESPONSE TO CITY COUNCIL BUDGET VOTE

In response to the Seattle City Council budget vote, SPOG President Mike Solan said the following, “The city council’s vote on the budget today is the beginning of a great political pivot away from unreasonable activism and back to the moderate policies that made Seattle the Emerald City. I look forward to working with the newly elected officials to ensure the future of Seattle’s public safety. Seattle is worth saving.”

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