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Sessions blames sanctuary city policy for Steinle death following verdict

Sessions blames sanctuary city policy for Steinle death following verdict”

An illegal immigrant accused of shooting Kate Steinle to death on pier in the sanctuary city of San Francisco is found not guilty of murder or manslaughter.

A spokesman for the San Francisco district attorney, Alex Bastian, says the acquittal of a Mexican man in a high-profile killing was not the verdict they had hoped for, but that prosecutors would respect the jury's decision.

President Trump late Thursday tweeted that the not guilty verdict in the Kate Steinle murder trial was "disgraceful", highlighting his apparent frustration at the resolution of a case he had cited during his presidential campaign as a justification for tougher immigration enforcement.

Jose Ines Garcia Zarate was found guilty of being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Steinle was walking with her father and a family friend on a sunny day in July 2015 when she was shot, collapsing into her father's arms. The defense had argued that the incident was a tragic accident, and that the gun Garcia Zarate, 45, was holding discharged accidentally and the bullet ricocheted for 78 feet before hitting Steinle. San Francisco's "sanctuary city" law bars local officials from cooperating with federal attempts to deport those in the country illegally, and the city had released Garcia Zarate from custody despite a federal detention request.

Sessions continued, "I urge the leaders of the nation's communities 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".

He was homeless at the time of the shooting and had multiple felony convictions on his record as well as five prior deportations to Mexico.

The city's sanctuary policies were not mentioned in the trial and there were only brief references to the defendant's immigration status.

"It was San Francisco's sanctuary city policies that killed Kate Steinle", Hannity said. "He took the life of a young, vibrant, beautiful, cherished woman by the name of Kate Steinle", she said.

"While the State of California sought a murder charge for the man who caused Ms. Steinle's death-a man who would not have been on the streets of San Francisco if the city simply honored an ICE detainer-the people ultimately convicted him of felon in possession of a firearm".

Jim Steinle, left, father of Kate Steinle, walks toward the courtroom at the San Francisco Hall of Justice on October 23, 2017. Prosecutors said he meant to shoot and kill her.

Before the shooting, Garcia Zarate had finished a federal prison sentence for illegal re-entry into the United States and was transferred in March 2015 to San Francisco's jail to face a 20-year-old charge for selling marijuana. "I have met with numerous great parents who lost their children to sanctuary cities and open borders".

This summer, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 3004, dubbed "Kate's Law" - a measure named for Steinle.



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