Politics

Trump on Kate Steinle Verdict: ‘A Complete Travesty of Justice’

Illegal immigrant with seven felony convictions roamed free in San Francisco, where he fired a gun, killing the 32-year-old

President Donald Trump reacted angrily to the not-guilty verdict for the illegal immigrant from Mexico who killed 32-year-old Kate Steinle, calling it a travesty of justice and saying the jury wasn’t told the killer had a violent past, with seven prior felony convictions.

“A disgraceful verdict in the Kate Steinle case! No wonder the people of our Country are so angry with Illegal Immigration,” he wrote on Twitter on Thursday night.

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Jose Ines Garcia Zarate was acquitted by a jury of first- and second-degree murder and also manslaughter. He was convicted of just one felony charge — possession of a firearm by a felon — and faces 16 months to three years in prison, though with time served counting against that.

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“The Kate Steinle killer came back and back over the weakly protected Obama border, always committing crimes and being violent, and yet this info was not used in court,” Trump wrote on Twitter Friday morning. “His exoneration is a complete travesty of justice. BUILD THE WALL!”

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Kate Steinle was walking with her father on Pier 14 in San Francisco on July 1, 2015, when Garcia Zarate, also on the pier, fired a bullet from a stolen Sig Sauer .40-caliber handgun. The bullet ricocheted off the concrete pier and hit Steinle in the back, piercing her aorta. “Help me, Dad,” she said as she fell to the ground. Her father, Jim Steinle, said Friday that he’d cradled her head and tried to console her until EMTs arrived.

“The jury was not told the killer of Kate was a 7 time felon,” Trump wrote on Twitter on Friday. “The Schumer/Pelosi Democrats are so weak on Crime that they will pay a big price in the 2018 and 2020 Elections.”

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Following the jury’s verdict, Jim Steinle told the San Francisco Chronicle: “We’re just shocked — saddened and shocked … that’s about it. There’s no other way you can coin it. Justice was rendered, but it was not served.”

Kate Steinle’s brother, Brad, said that he wasn’t surprised overall by the verdict, considering the many failures that led to Garcia Zarate walking free on the streets of San Francisco after five deportations and seven felony convictions.

But he said he was “stunned” that the prosecution couldn’t manage to get a conviction for using the weapon.

Garcia Zarate reportedly claimed that he had not pulled the trigger, but that the gun had gone off when he’d stepped on it, a claim that firearms experts scoffed at.

After his arrest, he admitted that he had gone to San Francisco because it is a sanctuary city, so he knew that local law enforcement would not hand him over to federal authorities to be deported to Mexico.

The White House released an official statement on Friday, saying Garcia Zarate and countless other criminal illegal aliens like him can’t be allowed to hurt Americans.

“Yesterday’s verdict in San Francisco underscores the danger to public safety when our nation fails to enforce its laws,” the statement reads. “Kate Steinle was killed by an illegal immigrant and convicted felon who had been deported from the United States five times. He, and countless other criminal illegal immigrants like him, should never be allowed to threaten our citizens. It’s more important now than ever for Congress to secure our borders and provide the resources, including more ICE officers, needed to deport criminal illegal aliens and to finally stop sanctuary city policies that cause needless loss of innocent life. Politicians who fail to address these needs share responsibility for preventable crimes committed against innocent Americans. Had San Francisco enforced our nation’s immigration laws, the Steinle family would be celebrating this holiday with all of their loved ones.”

(photo credit, homepage images: Donald Trump, CC BY-SA 2.0, by Gage Skidmore; photo credit, article images: Donald Trump, CC BY-SA 4.0, by Michael Vadon)

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