A federal jury awarded $21 million to the family of 16-year-old pregnant girl who was fatally shot by police in Fremont, Ca., in 2017, The Mercury News reports. The jury found that three police officers acted negligently when they fired rifles into a moving BMW, killing Elena “Ebbie” Mondragon, who was a passenger in the vehicle. The city of Fremont's share of the award is $10.2 million, which if upheld would make it one of the largest payouts from a lawsuit against a city’s police department. The jury assessed the remainder of the award against the man who drove the car.
The Minneapolis murder of George Floyd led to a $27 million settlement, and the Louisville killing of Breonna Taylor led to a $12 million settlement. Mondragon’s case was unusual in that it went to trial. Mondragon one of four people in a car driven by 19-year-old Rico Tiger. Authorities said Tiger had previously been responsible for multiple violent armed robberies. The BMW he was driving was stolen. Tiger is charged with murder under the state’s provocative act doctrine, which holds people liable when someone else uses lethal self-defense. That case is still pending. The Southern Alameda County Major Crimes Task Force was tracking the stolen vehicle and Fremont Sgt. Jeremy Miskella and officers Ghailan Chahouati and Joel Hernandez had planned to block in the BMW and confront Tiger. However, Tiger ignored police commands and attempted to flee in the BMW. Hernandez and Miskella began firing their rifles into the BMW. Mondragon, seated in the front passenger seat, was shot in the chest.