The story was broke via Twitter by Bay Area reporter Riya Bhattacharjee; Zarate was found not guilty of the murder of Kate Steinle.
“Jury finds Jose Ines Garcia Zarate not guilty in 1st or 2nd degree murder in the fatal shooting of Kate Steinle, not guilty in invol. manslaughter. Guilty of possession of a firearm. Jury unanimously finds Mexican man at center of national immigration debate not guilty of murder in San Francisco pier shooting. Jury finds him not guilty of crime w/ assault w/ semi-automatic firearm,” tweeted Bhattacharjee.
#BREAKING: Jury finds Jose Ines Garcia Zarate not guilty in 1st or 2nd degree murder in the fatal shooting of Kate Steinle, not guilty in invol. manslaughter. Guilty of possession of a firearm.
— Riya (@loislane28) December 1, 2017
Attorney General Jeff Sessions is NOT happy about the verdict and it’s now being revealed the Justice Department may seek further action against Jose Ines Garcia Zarate.
Here’s Sessions full statement below:
“When jurisdictions choose to return criminal aliens to the streets rather than turning them over to federal immigration authorities, they put the public’s safety at risk. San Francisco’s decision to protect criminal aliens led to the preventable and heartbreaking death of Kate Steinle.
“While the State of California sought a murder charge for the man who caused Ms. Steinle’s death—a man who would not have been on the streets of San Francisco if the city simply honored an ICE detainer—the people ultimately convicted him of felon in possession of a firearm. The Department of Justice will continue to ensure that all jurisdictions place the safety and security of their communities above the convenience of criminal aliens. 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.”
A disgraceful verdict in the Kate Steinle case! No wonder the people of our Country are so angry with Illegal Immigration.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 1, 2017
As reported by ABC News:
Garcia 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. But prosecutors argued he carelessly pointed the weapon at people. The Bureau of Land Management previously said that the gun belonged to one of its enforcement rangers and was stolen from a federal agent’s car.
Sessions further commented: “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.”
A law enforcement official told ABC News Thursday that the Justice Department may pursue federal charges against Zarate.
And U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) deputy director Tom Homan said in a statement, “This tragedy could have been prevented if San Francisco had simply turned the alien over to ICE, as we requested, instead of releasing him back onto the streets … ICE will work to take custody of Mr. Garcia Zarate and ultimately remove him from the country.”
Steinle’s family told The San Francisco Chronicle that they were “saddened and shocked” by the verdict.