A jury returned a $21 million verdict late Friday after Fremont police shot and killed a pregnant teenager nearly 5 years ago.
The city must pay $10.2 million, with the other half paid by the driver of the car in which she was riding.
Adante Pointer, a civil rights attorney who represented the family of Elena “Ebbie” Mondragon in federal court in San Jose, said he had never won or heard of such a large jury verdict against authorities.
According to a KTVU analysis, the most cities have had to pay to family members in wrongful death lawsuits in the last 5 years has been around $5 million per case.
On March 14, 2017, two undercover Fremont cops – Sgt. Jeremy Miskella, Detective Joel Hernandez, and Officer Ghailan Chahouati – fatally shot the 16-year-old from Antioch.
She was riding in a stolen BMW driven by 19-year-old Rico Tiger, which had been monitored to a Hayward apartment building by special task force law enforcement officers.
Tiger, who was wanted on suspicion of numerous violent armed robberies, was in the parking area and reversed his vehicle into the officers after being boxed in.
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In response, the cops began firing on the moving vehicle, which was against department policy.
Elena was hit four times by bullets and died in the hospital. Her relatives discovered she was pregnant at the time.
Tiger dodged bullets, crashed his BMW, and fled. He was eventually apprehended in San Francisco. Tiger has since been charged with murder by the Alameda County District Attorney.