December 1, 2017
Echoing a sentiment shared by many Americans, President Trump on Thursday night tweeted, “A disgraceful verdict in the Kate Steinle case! No wonder the people of our Country are so angry with Illegal Immigration.”
And then first thing Friday morning, two more tweets from the president:
— “The Kate Steinle killer came back and back over the weakly protected Obama border, always committing crimes and being violent, and yet this info was not used in court. His exoneration is a complete travesty of justice. BUILD THE WALL!”
— “The jury was not told the killer of Kate was a 7 time felon. The Schumer/Pelosi Democrats are so weak on Crime that they will pay a big price in the 2018 and 2020 Elections.”
Two years after Kate, strolling on a San Francisco pier, was shot in the back and died in her father’s arms, the illegal alien who fired the gun was aquitted Thursday of murder and manslaughter charges.
Jose Ines Garcia Zarate, who had been deported five times from the United States, was convicted only of being a felon in possession of a firearm.
Defense attorneys argued that Zarate found the gun on the pier and accidentally fired it, because — they argued — the gun was prone to misfire. The bullet riccocheted and hit Steinle in the back.
Zarate was homeless, and the only reason he was out on the streets is because San Francisco is a sanctuary city that does not cooperate with immigration detainers.
Steinle’s family told the San Francisco Chronincle they are “saddened and shocked.”
“Justice was rendered but it was not served,” Kate’s father Jim Steinle told the newspaper.
Kate’s brother Brad told the Chronicle it was an “epic failure” that put Zarate on the streets of San Francisco in the first place:
According to the newspaper:
Brad Steinle said he was “just flabbergasted” by the “culmination of errors” that led to his sister’s death. “Failure No. 1” was the feds’ decision to send Garcia Zarate back to San Francisco on a 20-year-old drug charge, which they should have known would never be prosecuted. The unsecured and loaded gun left in a Bureau of Land Management ranger’s vehicle, which was stolen. And, perhaps worst of all, a sheriff’s policy that allowed the release of a repeat felon who should have been deported.
In Brad’s view, those official actions were at least as responsible as the shooter for Kate’s death.
“This trial, for me, is kind of the least important part of the puzzle,” the brother said. “The sequence of events that led up to this — and the fact that nothing has changed — is the most disheartening thing. It’s like Siegfried and Roy: You stick your head in a tiger’s mouth and you’re probably going to get bit at some point.”
According to the San Francisco Chronicle, “The bottom line” is that “an undocumented immigrant with Garcia Zarate’s exact criminal history still could be released from jail to the streets without a call to alert Immigration and Customs Enforcement.”
In a statement, Tom Homan, the deputy director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, said: “San Francisco’s policy of refusing to honor ICE detainers is a blatant threat to public safety and undermines the rule of law. This tragedy could have been prevented if San Francisco had simply turned the alien over to ICE, as we requested, instead of releasing him back onto the streets.
“It is unconscionable that politicians across this country continue to endanger the lives of Americans with sanctuary policies while ignoring the harm inflicted on their constituents. Following the conclusion of this case, ICE will work to take custody of Mr. Garcia Zarate and ultimately remove him from the country.”
Attorney General Jeff Sessions also released a statement, urging community leaders to “reflect on the outcome of this case and consider carefully the harm they are doing to their citizens by refusing to cooperate with federal law enforcement officers.”
Sessions said it was San Francisco’s decision to protect criminal aliens that led to the “preventable and heartbreaking death of Kate Steinle.”
Zarate’s defense attorney asked Trump and Sessions to “reflect” on the fact that they also are under investigation by a special prosecutor, and they may soon “avail themselves of the presumption of innocence and beyond-a-reasonable-doubt standard” before commenting or disparaging the Steinle verdict.