We were heartbroken to learn about the killing of Northeastern University student Jaahnavi Kandula by a Seattle police officer in January 2023, and we are now filled with outrage after the release of police body camera audio in which Seattle Police Officers Guild (SPOG) leaders laugh, mock and minimize Jaahnavi’s death. The insensitivity shown by these SPOG leaders does not reflect our labor movement nor the values we uphold.
Throughout our country’s history, workers have used our collective power to demand action, and together with our fellow local unions we wielded that power in 2020 to expel SPOG from MLK Labor, our regional labor council, amid SPD’s failure to address its institutional racism, and because we believe in our core that until Black and brown communities thrive, none of our communities can truly thrive.
When police show that they do not value the lives of the people in the communities they serve, we will stand ready to renew our commitment to fight alongside our members, our MLK Labor family, and our communities to hold police accountable. We have repeatedly seen police officers inflict death, violence, and suffering on families and communities. It must stop. We stand with Jaahnavi’s family and loved ones in their time of grief.
The Elected Officers of SEIU Healthcare 1199NW