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Hannity: 'It Was San Francisco's Sanctuary City Policies That Killed Kate Steinle'
01 December 2017, 06:23 | Floyd Cook
Paul Morigi Getty Images
Attorney General Jeff Sessions condemned San Francisco's sanctuary city policy in the wake of a not-guilty verdict.
At trial, Zarate admitted to firing the shot that killed Steinle, 32, but contended that he had picked up a gun underneath a bench on the San Francisco pier and accidentally fired it July 1, 2015. Jurors convicted the Mexican citizen only of being a felon in possession of a firearm Thursday, in the sixth day of deliberations after receiving the case last week. 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. San Francisco's "sanctuary city" law limits cooperation with USA immigration authorities.
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. 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.
MCEVERS: Do you think this will have any impact on San Francisco or other sanctuary cities in how they deal with these cases in the future?
Garcia Zarate's immigration status has not played a role in the case presented by prosecutors.
Trump has said that Steinle's death, just two weeks after he launched his presidential campaign, is emblematic of the problems in the USA immigration system, particularly the continued existence of sanctuary cities where local officials refuse to cooperate with federal immigration officials. "He took the life of a young, vibrant, beautiful, cherished woman by the name of Kate Steinle", she said.
Despite the national political implications, the San Francisco jury was charged with a more discreet task of criminal culpability for Steinle's death.
The bullet ricocheted on the pier's concrete walkway and fatally struck Steinle in the back.
San Francisco Deputy District Attorney Diana Garcia said during the trial that she didn't know why Garcia Zarate fired the weapon, but he created a risk of death by bringing the firearm to the pier and twirling around on a chair for at least 20 minutes before he fired.
After the verdict, a Public Defender Jeff Adachi also released a statement saying Zarate was "extremely relieved" by the decision and while Steinle's death "was a frightful tragedy", it was used as "political fodder for the then candidate Donald Trump's anti-immigration agenda", Fox News reported.
USA immigration officials said they will deport Garcia Zarate, who had been deported five times and was wanted for a sixth deportation when Steinle was fatally shot in the back while walking with her father. "I have met with numerous great parents who lost their children to sanctuary cities and open borders".
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