President Donald Trump took to Twitter Thursday night to criticize the decision of an American jury in a case he’d regularly cited at political rallies.
A jury earlier Thursday had found a Mexican man not guilty inside the killing of a woman on a San Francisco pier which touched off a fierce national immigration debate two years ago, rejecting possible charges ranging coming from involuntary manslaughter to first-degree murder.
The shooting of Kate Steinle came during the presidential primary campaign in 2015 along with was used by then-candidate Trump to push for a wall on the Mexican border.
After the decision, the president of the country said: “A disgraceful verdict inside the Kate Steinle case! No wonder the people of our Country are so angry with Illegal Immigration.”
@realDonaldTrump A disgraceful verdict inside the Kate Steinle case! No wonder the people of our Country are so angry with Illegal Immigration.
@realDonaldTrump The Kate Steinle killer came back along with back over the weakly protected Obama border, always committing crimes along with being violent, along with yet This particular info was not used in court. His exoneration can be a complete travesty of justice. BUILD THE WALL!
Trump tweet 3
Defense attorney Francisco Ugarte drew a very different picture after the verdict.
“coming from Day 1 This particular case was used as a means to foment hate, to foment division along with to foment a program of mass deportation. the item was used to catapult a presidency along which philosophy of hate of others,” Ugarte said. “I believe today can be a day of vindication for the rest of immigrants.”
Jose Ines Garcia Zarate had been deported all 5 times along with was wanted for a sixth deportation when Steinle was fatally shot inside the back while walking with her father on the pier.
The case spotlighted San Francisco’s “sanctuary city” policy, which limits local officials coming from cooperating with U.S. immigration authorities.
Politics, however, did not come up inside the monthlong rial which featured extensive testimony coming from ballistics experts. Defense attorneys argued which Garcia Zarate was a hapless homeless man who killed Steinle in a freak accident. Prosecutors said he meant to shoot along with kill her.
Garcia Zarate did not deny shooting Steinle along with said the item was an accident.
Jurors did find him guilty of being a felon in possession of a firearm, meaning he knowingly had a firearm however there was no intent for him to hurt or shoot anyone. Public Defender Jeff Adachi said the count carries a potential sentence of 16 months to three years behind bars.
“The verdict which came in today was not the one we were hoping for,” said Alex Bastian, a spokesman for the San Francisco prosecutor’s office. “The jury came back with the verdict they did, along with we will respect which decision. … This particular can be definitely about the Steinle family. They showed incredible resolve during This particular whole process.”
Jim Steinle told the San Francisco Chronicle the family was saddened along with shocked by the verdict.
“There’s no various other way you can coin the item. Justice was rendered, however the item was not served,” he said in what he called the last interview he would likely do about the case.
The family did not attend the reading of the verdict. Jurors left without comment along with the judge sealed their names.
Before the shooting, Garcia Zarate finished a federal prison sentence for illegal re-entry into the United States along with had been transferred to San Francisco’s jail in March 2015 to face a 20-year-old charge for selling marijuana.
The sheriff’s department released him a few days later after prosecutors dropped the marijuana charge, despite a request coming from federal immigration officials to detain him for deportation.
The Trump administration has sought to punish sanctuary cities through a series of legal actions, including an executive order to withhold funding, however a federal judge recently blocked the item in a lawsuit coming from two California counties, San Francisco along with Santa Clara. The administration has appealed.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement Thursday which San Francisco’s decision to Discharge Garcia Zarate led to Steinle’s death.
“The Department of Justice will continue to ensure which all jurisdictions place the safety along with security of their communities above the convenience of criminal aliens,” Sessions said. “I urge the leaders of the nation’s communities to reflect on the outcome of This particular case along with consider carefully the harm they are doing to their citizens by refusing to cooperate with federal law enforcement officers.”
Immigration along with Customs Enforcement officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
San Francisco Deputy District Attorney Diana Garcia said during the trial which she didn’t know why Garcia Zarate fired the weapon, however he created a risk of death by bringing the firearm to the pier along with twirling around on a chair for at least 20 minutes before he fired.
“He did kill someone. He took the life of a young, vibrant, beautiful, cherished woman by the name of Kate Steinle,” she said.
Defense attorney Matt Gonzalez said in his closing argument which he knows the item’s difficult to believe Garcia Zarate found an object which turned out to be a weapon, which fired when he picked the item up.
however he told jurors which Garcia Zarate had no motivation to kill Steinle along with which as awful as her death was, “nothing you do can be going to fix which.”
Garcia Zarate was sitting about 0 feet (27 meters) coming from Steinle when the gun fired. The bullet ricocheted on the pier’s concrete walkway along with fatally struck Steinle inside the back.
The gun was stolen coming from the SUV of a U.S. Bureau of Land Management ranger which was parked in San Francisco. The city has been plagued by an epidemic of car burglaries in recent years.
—CNBC contributed to This particular report.