The murder trial of Jose Ines Garcia Zarate, the Mexican national who caused the death of 32-year-old Kate Steinle, is underway in San Francisco. The highly anticipated courtroom drama sets the stage for intense scrutiny of sanctuary cities, the proposed border wall, and immigration policy, although the presiding judge Samuel Feng has issued a strong warning to jurors to disregard political rhetoric.
That will be nearly impossible. Still fresh in the minds of Americans, the tragic end to a short life still echoes two short years later. In July 2015, Kate Steinle and her father, Jim, strolled arm in arm along Pier 14 near The Embarcadero until a gunshot shattered the peaceful cadence of the bay. The bullet ricocheted off the cement and struck Kate in the back, ripping through her heart. As she collapsed into her father’s arms, she pleaded, “help me, dad.” Witnesses say pedestrians rushed to aid the fatally wounded woman, but Garcia Zarate tossed the gun into the cold water of the bay and calmly walked away.
But who is to blame?
There are a lot of prospects.
Garcia Zarate will now face the Steinle family, and 12 jurors selected from a pool of 1,000, and attempt to wriggle free of a second-degree murder charge. You see, he claims (through his defense attorney, Matt Gonzalez) the shooting was a “freak accident, ” and the gun is to blame:
“Jurors will hear competing expert witnesses about the gun, a .40-caliber SIG Sauer P226. Prosecutors contend the pistol’s firing mechanism was in a position that would have required a conscious, deliberate action to pull the trigger. Gonzalez said defense witnesses will testify that it was set in hair-trigger mode and had no safety device, and that trained law enforcement officers had accidentally fired the same model firearm.”
Does it all boil down to one uneducated Mexican man, previously convicted of numerous felonies, illegally crossing the border at a whim, and being the welcomed guest of a Sanctuary City? Or is there plenty of blame to be levied with the layers of inept government policy and oversight.
It’s the latter.
Garcia Zarate should be locked away in a dark hole for the rest of his life. He is incorrigible; as his felony arrest and deportation (yes, he was deported five times) records indicate, and there should’ve been a sixth. Not only should he have not been in the country to begin with – or in possession of a firearm, according to federal law – he was also set loose on the Steinle family by the City:
“Convicted of felony re-entry and sentenced in 2011 to 46 months in federal prison, he was released in March 2015. Then, instead of being deported a sixth time, he was transferred by federal authorities to San Francisco to face an old marijuana charge.
But city prosecutors dropped the charges and [Sheriff Ross] Mirkarimi’s office released Garcia Zarate three weeks after he’d arrived in the city without notifying federal agents. The sheriff relied on his interpretation of a San Francisco ordinance barring cooperation with immigration officers unless an inmate in local custody has a serious criminal record or the agents have a warrant.”
Mirkarimi went down in a hail of virtual shrapnel and lost his bid for reelection in the sweeping reforms of 2016. But that must ring hollow for the Steinle family.
How Much More Can the People Bear?
The ultimate culprit in this epic heartbreak is the city of San Francisco and the lame-brained left-wing policies in place since 1989 that protect illegals at any cost:
“The Sanctuary Ordinance promotes public trust and cooperation. It helps keep our communities safe by making sure that all residents, regardless of immigration status, feel comfortable calling the Police and Fire Departments during emergencies and cooperating with City agencies during public safety situations. It helps keep our communities healthy by making sure that all residents, regardless of immigration status, feel comfortable accessing City public health services and benefit programs.”
Let’s be clear; an undocumented immigrant is ILLEGAL. It doesn’t matter if the elite media prefer to sugar coat their coverage of immigration with pretty words, ILLEGAL immigration is a crime – with, at times, catastrophic consequences. And Miss Steinle would likely still be alive had Jose Ines Garcia Zarate been sent home to wreak havoc on his home country of Mexico.
Build the wall, Mr. Trump. End this ridiculous practice of Sanctuary Cities and uphold the laws of this nation for all Americans—legal Americans. Regardless of the verdict to be rendered in this trial, the guilty party is the City of San Francisco. As then-candidate Trump stated in his speech at the Republican convention, “where was sanctuary for Kate Steinle?” The silence from the City by the Bay was bone chilling.
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