In March 2017, a group of men wearing street clothes and carrying AR-15s ambushed a car full of teenagers at an apartment complex in Hayward, a suburb of San Francisco. The driver of the car thought he was being robbed, and tried to drive away. The men opened fire with semi-automatic rifles, killing Elena Mondragon, a pregnant 16-year-old who was in the passenger seat.
The men who fired the shots were undercover police officers. They claimed they fired in self-defense, though the car was driving away from them and they did not turned on their body cameras. The officers were never charged in the shooting, a decision made by Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley.
A new report from the East Bay Express calls O’Malley’s motives by pointing out that she received a $10,000 campaign donation from the police union just before clearing the officers in the killing. The president of the police union, Sgt. Jeremy Miskella, was one of the cops who shot Mondragon. The $10,000 donation was the largest O’Malley’s received for her current race.
O’Malley says she did nothing wrong.
“This is a law enforcement job and we work with the police. As I said before, when police do something that is against the law, they either get fired or they get prosecuted,” she told the paper.
O’Malley will face a competitor in her re-election race, civil rights attorney Pamela Price. Price called the revelations disturbing.
“There’s an actual conflict and then there’s the appearance of impropriety,” said Price. “And I will say to you when we have a district attorney that accepts $10,000 from the Fremont Police Officers Association and then clears the Fremont police officers of killing an unarmed 16-year-old child in a car, that’s the appearance of impropriety.”