The timing and specifics of Steinle's tragic death catapulted the case into the national spotlight as a cause célèbre for then-candidate Donald Trump, who seized upon the death of "beautiful Kate", as he referred to her on the stump.
Jose Ines Garcia Zarate, arrested in connection with the July 1, 2015, shooting of Kate Steinle on a pier in San Francisco, is led into the Hall of Justice for his arraignment in San Francisco on July 7, 2015. Languishing in seventh behind his Republican competitors at the time, just two weeks into his campaign, Trump used Garcia Zarate's past-he had been deported from the USA five times and had seven felony convictions, including drug charges-as proof of his campaign's anti-immigrant operating thesis.
Trump often cited Steinle's death on a San Francisco pier during his presidential run as an example of the dangers of sanctuary cities.
In an interview with local media, Zarate said he had made his way to San Francisco because he knew he would be less likely to be deported because of the city's sanctuary policies. "I urge the leaders of the nation's communities to reflect on the outcome of this case and consider carefully the harm they are doing to their citizens by refusing to cooperate with federal law enforcement officers". "They followed these ridiculous liberal policies, and because of their stupidity and their "form of justice" and caring more about the rights of illegal, convicted felons, tonight Kate Steinle is dead and her family has received no justice". Since taking office, Trump has threatened to withhold federal funding from places with similar sanctuary city laws.
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He pointed out that Zarate was a seven-time felon who had been deported from the US five times before the fatal shooting.
Watch the monologue above.
"San Francisco's policy of refusing to honor ICE detainers is a blatant threat to public safety and undermines the rule of law", he said in a statement.
Gonzalez said in his closing argument that he knows it's hard to believe Garcia Zarate found an object that turned out to be a weapon, which fired when he picked it up. He had been deported from the United States five times prior to Steinle's death. The bullet ricocheted on the pier's concrete walkway before it struck Steinle.
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Zarate had claimed he found the gun used in the shooting wrapped in a T-shirt under a bench and that it went off accidentally, The Associated Press reported. Before the shooting, officials in San Francisco had released Garcia Zarate from custody instead of turning him over to immigration authorities.
Before the shooting, Garcia Zarate had finished a federal prison sentence for illegal re-entry into the United States and had been transferred to San Francisco's jail in March 2015 to face a 20-year-old charge for selling marijuana.
This summer, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 3004, dubbed "Kate's Law" - a measure named for Steinle.
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