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Seattle rallies in protest after prosecutors decline to charge cop who killed Jaahnavi Kandula

By Robert Engel

 Seattle rally demands justice for Jaahnavi Kandula.  | Fight Back! News/staff

Seattle, WA — On Friday, February 23, the Seattle Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression held an emergency rally in front of Seattle's West Precinct police station. Two days before, the office of King County prosecutor Leesa Manion announced that they had decided not to prosecute SPD officer Kevin Dave who, over a year ago, struck and killed 23-year-old Jaahnavi Kandula with his patrol car while she was walking through a crosswalk.

Officer Dave faced no consequences in the year leading up to the prosecutor's decision, and this latest update from the prosecutor's office indicates that there would be no consequences going forward.

A large crowd of community members turned out to protest the decision despite short notice and cold weather. Astrid Bee, speaking on behalf of the Seattle Alliance (SAARPR), said “Jaahnavi's life was taken not by fate, but by the reckless actions of Officer Dave, a figure entrusted with upholding the law.” Bee emphasized the need for accountability, saying, “No badge or uniform should shield someone from the consequences of such egregious misconduct.”

Jonathan Toledo, another speaker from the Seattle Alliance, also addressed the crowd, saying “The people demand justice for Jaahnavi Kandula, murdered by an officer driving recklessly.” Toledo highlighted the King County prosecutor's complicity and identified the weakness of an injustice system that refuses to hold itself accountable. “If our own police won’t protect us, and our own legal divisions won’t protect us, then it is up to us, the working class, to take this task upon ourselves,” he said.

The crowd resonated with calls to build a working-class fight against police terror, to continue the campaign to secure justice for Jaahnavi Kandula despite setbacks, and ultimately to win community control of the police in Seattle.

The emergency rally concluded with a clear message – the fight for justice for Jaahnavi continues.

#SeattleWA #InJusticeSystem #PoliceBrutality #NAARPR #SAARPR #JaahnaviKandula