Kate Steinle case: parents can not sue a "shrine city" for failing to talk to immigration officers about the shooter's release



In a lawsuit for wrongful death, Steinle's parents claimed that San Francisco and his former sheriff were partly responsible for the death of their daughter, as officials did not warn the immigration and immigration authorities. Customs when José Ines Garcia Zarate had been released from prison.

Garcia Zarate, undocumented immigrant and Mexican recidivist who had been deported five times before the shooting, was released in April 2015.

On Monday, a panel of the 9th US Court of Appeals upheld the district court's rejection in 2017 of the family's claims.

"As the main opinion rightly acknowledges, the events underlying this case are tragic," says the court. "And some of the plaintiffs' claims remain to be brought in the District Court." We only argue that under California law, state officials are safe from prosecution. "

San Francisco is a city called sanctuary, a term used to describe cities that, one way or another, do not cooperate with federal immigration authorities.

The shooting death of Steinle sparked a national debate over sanctuary towns and became a rallying cry for the then-candidate Donald Trump on the campaign trail.

L & # 39; s case

Steinle, a 32-year-old medical device sales representative, was walking with her father and a friend on Pier 14 in San Francisco when a bullet tore her abdominal aorta, officials said.

How Kate Steinle's case became one of the biggest lawsuits of the year

The surveillance video showed Garcia Zarate on the run. Prosecutors later said that firearm residues had been found on his right hand and had claimed that he was playing his own "secret version of Russian roulette" and that he had opened fire on the crowd.

His defense attorney had argued that the shooting was accidental and that the bullet had bounced off the ground and crossed a distance of 20 meters before hitting Steinle.

The jury acquitted Garcia Zarate of the charges of murder and involuntary manslaughter as well as armed aggression.

He was sentenced to three years' imprisonment for a less serious charge of possession of a pistol.

He had been deported five times

Garcia Zarate was no stranger to US authorities before the shooting. He had already been deported five times and was wanted for a sixth deportation for drug-related crimes.

Garcia Zarate was formerly known as Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, one of the many pseudonyms he used to use. CNN and other media have already identified him as being Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez.

Immigrant acquitted following Kate Steinle's death requests dismissal of federal indictment

In their lawsuit, Steinle's parents claimed that their daughter's death was triggered by a memo issued in March 2015 by the city's former sheriff, who was suppressing communication between prison staff and immigration authorities about undocumented immigrants. This policy was in "direct contravention" of federal and state laws, the lawsuit said.

A few weeks after the memo, Garcia Zarate was transported from a federal prison to San Francisco to appear in court under a warrant for possession and sale of marijuana.

This drug case was filed and he was released, despite a request from the immigration authorities to detain him.

The national debate

The debate on immigration was already lively across the country in 2015, but few of them spoke of the city shrine term. When Steinle dies, Google searches for the enriched term.

President Trump and ICE officials have used this case to denounce the city's shrine policy and promote the construction of a border wall.

US expels undocumented immigrant acquitted after Kate Steinle's death

"This senseless and totally avoidable act of violence by an illegal immigrant is another example of why we must secure our border immediately," Trump said of Steinle's death.

"San Francisco's policy of refusing to honor ICE detainees is a blatant threat to public safety and undermines the rule of law," said Tom Homan, deputy director from ICE, in a statement.

In 2016, ICE said in a statement that the director of the agency, Sarah Saldaña, had met members of the Steinle family "to express the agency's deep sympathy for their loss and affirm its ongoing commitment to cooperate with law enforcement in California and nationally to promote our common goals of protecting communities and maintaining public safety.

Garcia Zarate remains imprisoned pending a possible federal prosecution, the San Francisco Chronicle reported last month. US officials said that he would be deported.

CNN's Marlena Baldacci, Dan Simon, Holy Yan, Eric Levenson, Sarah Moon, Nicole Chavez, Cheri Mossburg, Darran Simon, Rosalina Nieves, Phil Gast, Ray Sanchez, Amanda Watts, Tony Marco, Dakin Andone and Braden Walker contributed to this article.


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