SAN JOSE, California – A federal grand jury awarded $21 million to the family of a pregnant teen shot dead by undercover police officers in Northern California five years ago, lawyers say. know.
Elena Mondragon was a passenger in a BMW leaving the Hayward apartment complex when an unmarked truck full of Fremont police attempted to cut it in March 2017, according to the boy’s family complaint. At the time, Fremont police said the driver of the BMW, who appeared to be wanted by police, crashed the vehicle into the truck.
Police opened fire and wounded Mondragon, a passenger. She is 16 years old and in the first trimester of pregnancy.
Her family’s civil rights and wrongful death complaint describe the murder as “a deceptive covert arrest operation”, San Francisco Chronicles reported.
The jury’s decision Friday was “a tremendous verdict for the family,” said plaintiffs’ attorney John Burris.
Burris said the jury decided to split the charges between the man driving and the officers, so that the city of Fremont would potentially provide about $10 million in the award.
Fremont officials did not immediately comment on the grand jury’s decision.
In 2018, the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office concluded that the police’s fatal shooting was justifiable.