Just this week we discussed the decision by the city elders of San Francisco to reaffirm their status as a “sanctuary city” despite the distressing number of crimes being committed by catch and release illegal aliens. At the time I found myself wondering how the families of victims murdered by these protected criminals and those who had been otherwise assaulted and defiled by them would feel about such a decision. The timing may turn out to be coincidental, but we can get at least some sense of how those left behind by one of the most famous homicide victims are taking the news. The family of Kate Steinle has filed a lawsuit against various government entities involved in the repeated release of her illegal alien murderer. (Fox News)
Relatives of the woman shot to death on a San Francisco pier last year filed a lawsuit Friday saying the illegal immigrant accused in the killing should have been in custody if not for a series of mistakes by city and federal workers.
The killing of Kate Steinle in July 2015 and the arrest of Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez put San Francisco’s leaders on the defensive as critics and outside politicians called for a change in the city’s sanctuary law. Despite national outrage, San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors on Tuesday upheld those protections for people in the country illegally.
The sheriff at the time of the killing, Ross Mirkarimi, is named in the lawsuit, along with ICE and the Bureau of Land Management. Mirkarimi previously defended the release of the suspect, a repeat drug offender and habitual border-crosser.
While no court decision will bring back Kate, I wish the Steinles the best in their efforts, if only to bring more attention to the situation. But some of the names on the list of defendants seem to be a bit off target while ignoring the actual culprits. Also, the description of the faults which led to that tragic encounter are described very deceptively in the coverage.
On the latter point, there was very little in the realm of “mistakes’ involved in Ms. Steinle’s death. Most of the actors involved were following federal government policy which flows straight from the White House, combined with official positions taken by the City of San Francisco. This wasn’t an error or an oversight… the system was functioning as implemented by those in charge at the federal, state and municipal levels.
As to the targets of their anger, I suppose Sheriff Mirkarimi was an obvious and correct choice. I’m not so sure about ICE, though. They regularly put in requests to take custody of at least some illegal alien felons when they fit the profile as a law enforcement priority, and their rank and file officers have been none too happy about the mandates from the White House which force them to release or ignore so many others. Rather than going after the agency, the real target should either be Jeh Johnson or Barack Obama himself.
The Bureau of Land Management is apparently only involved because it was a BLM ranger who lost control of his service weapon, leading to it ending up in the hands of Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez. That was clearly one of the only “accidents or mistakes” in the entire chain of events because it’s beyond far-fetched to imply that he discarded the weapon intentionally. Still, we can’t deny the culpability which comes with a such a mistake so I suppose the agency deserves to be implicated on that basis. There are now claims that the bullet which killed Kate Steinle ricocheted off the ground before fatally striking her, but even if that’s true there’s little significance to the trajectory. Had Lopez-Sanchez not been roaming the city freely instead of sitting in a jail cell or in a truck headed for deportation, he couldn’t have fired the shot and Kate would likely still be alive.
Sanctuary cities are an illegal embarrassment to the nation, and our current immigration policies are increasing crime rather than fighting it. Kate Steinle paid the ultimate price for these failings and perhaps this lawsuit will wake up the nation to some degree and begin the process of change.