• Elena Mondragon was shot dead in March 2017
  • Officers were trying to arrest Elena's boyfriend who was wanted for several robberies
  • The girl's mother alleged her daughter died during "a botched covert arrest operation"

San Jose, California, -- The family of a 16-year-old pregnant girl in California who was fatally shot by undercover cops while trying to arrest her boyfriend has been awarded $21 million in compensation five years after her death.

Elena Mondragon, who was in her first trimester of pregnancy, was shot dead in March 2017, while traveling with her boyfriend, Rico Tiger, in a BMW, which officers suspected was stolen.

Fremont police officers in plain clothes tried to intercept the couple's vehicle and attempted to arrest Tiger, who was wanted for several armed robberies, Business Insider reported.

When Tiger, who drove the car, reportedly tried to flee after ramming into the police van, the officers opened fire at the vehicle, injuring Elena. She later succumbed to her injuries at a hospital.

Tiger escaped from the scene but was later arrested in San Francisco. He was charged with murder.

Footage of the incident was not available because the two officers involved were not wearing their body cameras. In 2018, the Alameda County District Attorney's Office concluded that the shooting was justified and cleared both the officers of any wrongdoing, Kron 4 reported.

However, the victim's mother, Michelle Mondragon, later filed a federal suit against the city of Fremont​ stating that her daughter was killed during "a botched covert arrest operation."

Based on the lawsuit, a court ordered the city to award Elena's family $21 million Friday, making this one of the largest settlements linked to police. The order has come as "a tremendous verdict for the family," John Burris, the family's attorney said.

The jury has asked to split the culpability between the man who drove the car and the officers, which implies that the city of Fremont would have to contribute around $10 million to the award.

"We hope a verdict like this sends the message that police departments need to humble themselves in the face of community demands that they do better," the family's attorney said.

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Representation. tevenet/Pixabay