Wednesday, 20 June, 2018

Mexican immigrant acquitted in shooting death of woman in San Francisco

Pool | Reuters | BDN Pool | Reuters | BDN
Faye Gross | 01 December, 2017, 06:21

The fact that San Francisco Sheriff's Department, months before the shooting, had refused to tell federal immigration officials when undocumented Garcia Zarate was to be released from jail made it a touchstone in the national debate on sanctuary cities. The bullet ricocheted on the pier's concrete walkway before it struck Steinle.

During the presidential race, then-candidate Donald Trump cited the killing as a reason to toughen US immigration policies.

A jury on Thursday found a Mexican man not guilty of murder in the killing of a woman on a San Francisco pier that set off a national immigration debate two years ago.

Gonzalez said Garcia Zarate found the semi-automatic handgun wrapped in a shirt under a chair on the pier - and it went off by accident when he picked it up.

The gun was stolen from the SUV of a U.S. Bureau of Land Management ranger that was parked in San Francisco.

Steinle was killed on July 1, 2015, while walking along a San Francisco pier arm-in-arm with her father.

Zarate's defense lawyer, Francisco Ugarte, remarked that the death of Steinle was an "incomprehensible tragedy" but also commented that the ruling was a vindication for immigrants.

Donations to charitable organizations encouraged on 'Giving Tuesday'
Many national groups are involved in Giving Tuesday, including the Boys and Girls Clubs of America , Planned Parenthood and more. Then came "Cyber Monday", online retailers' chance to cash in on the holiday buying frenzy.


President Trump later signed an executive order to cut funding from cities that limit cooperation with USA immigration authorities, a policy that a federal judge in San Francisco permanently blocked Monday.

The father of a woman who was shot and killed on a San Francisco pier said he was shocked when a jury acquitted a Mexican immigrant accused of murder in the case.

Despite the national political implications, the San Francisco jury was charged with a more discreet task of criminal culpability for Steinle's death. Since taking office, Trump has threatened to withhold federal funding from places with similar sanctuary city laws.

Zarate, of Mexico, had been deported several times and has previous convictions for re-entry after deportation.

Garcia Zarate did not deny shooting Steinle in 2015 and said it was an accident.

The sheriff's department released him a few days later after the district attorney dropped the marijuana charge, despite a USA request to detain him for deportation. San Francisco still won't honor a federal detainer request unless the detainee has committed a violent or serious felony in the past seven years. Under local sanctuary city rules, local law enforcement won't hold a person beyond the term of their incarceration.

He had been deported five times and was wanted for a sixth deportation when Steinle was fatally shot in the back in 2015. He had just completed a federal prison sentence for re-entering the country after deportation when he was transferred to San Francisco by federal authorities based on a warrant for a marijuana charge. "It's disconcerting", Brad Steinle told CNN's Anderson Cooper.

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