President Trump Calls Kate Steinle Verdict "Disgraceful"
SAN FRANCISCO, California - President Trump tweeted there was a "disgraceful verdict" after a Mexican man was found not guilty of murder in a high-profile killing that touched off a fierce immigration debate.
A disgraceful verdict in the Kate Steinle case! No wonder the people of our Country are so angry with Illegal Immigration.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 1, 2017
Mr. Trump's tweet comes three hours after Jose Ines Garcia Zarate was found not guilty in the killing of Kate Steinle. Jurors did convict him of being a felon in possession of a firearm.
Mr. Trump says it is "no wonder the people of our Country are so angry with Illegal Immigration."
Jose Ines Garcia Zarate had been deported five times and was wanted for a sixth deportation when the shooting happened. He said it was an accident. The jury found him not guilty on murder and manslaughter charges but he was convicted on a gun charge.
During the presidential race, then-candidate Donald Trump cited the killing as a reason to toughen U.S. immigration policies, CBS San Francisco reports. Mr. Trump later signed an executive order to cut funding from cities that limit cooperation with U.S. immigration authorities, a policy that a federal judge in San Francisco permanently blocked Monday.
Under a sanctuary city law, the San Francisco sheriff's department had released Garcia Zarate from jail despite a federal immigration request to detain him for deportation.
Steinle's family told the San Francisco Chronicle that they still supported sanctuary cities, but they believed San Francisco when the former sheriff effectively ordered his department to cut off communication with federal immigration authorities.
Steinle's brother, Brad Steinle, told the Chronicle in an interview published Thursday he was "just flabbergasted" by the "culmination of errors" that led to his sister's death, with "failure number one" was federal authorities' decision to Garcia Zarate back to San Francisco on a 20-year-old drug charge.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a statement Thursday night that mentioned Garcia Zarate wouldn't have been on San Francisco streets had the city honored an ICE detainer.
The statement ended with Sessions saying: "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."