On July 1, 2015, 32-year-old Kathryn Steinle died in hospital two hours after being shot in the back by a bullet which had ricocheted off the concrete floor of Pier 14 in the Embarcadero district of San Francisco while she was walking with her father and a friend.
The bullet was fired from a 40 caliber handgun held by Jose Inez Garcia Zarate, a Mexican national who was illegally in the United States, had been deported from the U.S. a total of five times, most recently in 2009. He was on probation in Texas at the time of the shooting, and had seven felony convictions of drug (heroin possession and manufacturing.
On March 26, 2015, U.S. Bureau of Prisons turned Garcia Zarate over to San Francisco authorities for an outstanding drug warrant. He was transported to San Francisco County Jail to face a 20-year-old felony charge of selling and possessing marijuana after he had completed his prison term in San Bernardino in Southern California for illegally entering the U.S.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) issued a detainer for Garcia Zarate, requesting S. F. authorities to keep him in custody until immigration authorities could pick him up. But, San Francisco, being a sanctuary city, disregarded the detainer and released him on April 15, 2015.
2½ months later, on July 1, Garcia Zarate fired the bullet that killed Kate Steinle. If San Francisco had not released the illegal repeat-offender, Steinle would still be alive today.
Garcia Zarate claimed he had fired the shot accidentally while picking up the gun which he had found, moments before, wrapped in cloth beneath the bench on which he was sitting. (The gun belonged to a BLM ranger, who lost the gun when his car was broken into.)
The bullet struck Steinle in the back and pierced her aorta. Her father and others performed CPR on Kate before paramedics arrived and took her by ambulance to San Francisco General Hospital where she died two hours later.
Garcia Zarate fled the scene and threw the gun into the bay. He was arrested about an hour after the shooting about one mile south of Pier 14. San Francisco Police divers found the gun in the bay alongside Pier 14 the next day.
During the trial of Garcia Zarate, which began on October 23, 2017, police revealed how they tricked him into confessing to the shooting. The prosecution claimed he brought the stolen gun to the crime scene while the defense contended the weapon was found under a Pier 14 seat.
On November 30, 2017, after 9 days of deliberation, the jury found Garcia Zarate not guilty of murder and manslaughter, but convicted him on illegal possession of a firearm. (Source: Wikipedia)
Here are some reactions to the Steinle murder verdict:
(1) President Trump:
(2) Secret Service agent Dan Bongino:
(3) Steinle killer’s defense attorney, Francisco Ugarte, calls those who are outraged by the jury verdict “racists” (h/t Gateway Pundit):
“I believe today is a vindication of the rights of immigrants. That today we have to reflect all of us on how we talked about this case in the beginning. And how this swarm of reflection and reaction on the basis of what I believe to be the racial dynamics of this case. Nothing about Garcia Zarate’s ethnicity, nothing about his immigration status, nothing about the fact that he was born in Mexico had any relevance on what happened on July 1, 2015.”
In other words, Ugarte wants it both ways — While insisting that Zarate’s illegal “immigration status” has no relevance to his killing of Steinle, Ugarte at the same time calls the jury verdict “a vindication of the rights of immigrants”.
(4) Trump administration will deport Zarate:
(5) Republicans react to Steinle verdict by rioting . . . .
What you can do:
Support Kate’s Law!
After Steinle’s killing, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Rep. Matt Salmon (R-Arizona) introduced HR 3011, the Establishing Mandatory Minimums for Illegal Reentry Act of 2015, also known as Kate’s Law. No vote was ever held. (Salmon has since retired from Congress.)
On June 23, 2017, House Judiciary Committee chairman Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) reintroduced Kate’s Law (HR 3004) and an anti-sanctuary city bill into the House. HR 3004 protects public safety by enhancing penalties for deported felons who return to the United States.
On June 29, the House passed HR 3004 or Kate’s Law by a vote of 257-167. The bill is now in the Senate.