The illegal immigrant who cold-bloodedly gunned down Kate Steinle in 2015 may have gotten off once again, but the family of the slain woman is not even close to being ready to throw in the towel. After a federal lawsuit filed by Kate’s parents was partially dismissed and the murderer was found not guilty, the Steinle family dug in as any other family would had their loved one been so horribly snatched out of their lives.
The San Francisco Examiner reported that in early November the Steinle family is now appealing the Federal Judge’s half dismissal of their lawsuit.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Joseph Spero threw out certain parts of the lawsuit earlier this year and the attorneys for James Steinle and Elizabeth Sullivan have appealed the decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
The federal lawsuit claims that Mirkarimi negligently created a “no contact” policy which prevented the Sheriff’s Department from disclosing the release date of undocumented immigrants to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials in violation of federal law. As a result, ICE was not able to detain Garcia Zarate when he was released in March 2015.
Alison Cordova, one of the attorneys for the Steinle family, stated on Monday that Mirkarimi was engaged in a scheme to “frustrate and undermine ICE’s ability to deport” Garcia Zarate, who is also known as Juan Francisco Lopez Sanchez.
“Mr. Lopez Sanchez was not the person with the time, the sophistication and the opportunity to do the right thing,” Cordova said. “It’s the public agencies. They were the ones who could have taken the right action so that Mr. Lopez Sanchez was never on the streets of San Francisco with a gun in his hands.”
“The issue before the court is whether The City and its taxpayers can be held liable for the actions of a former inmate,” City Attorney’s Office spokesperson John Cote said. “Under well-established case law, they can’t. The court’s ruling removing The City from the case reflected that.”
Seeing as how the city as well as the state is a sanctuary for these illegals, I would personally argue that they are in fact the very ones who are responsible and should be held as such. If a state or city wants to allow illegals to run amuck and commit violent crimes than the city should be held responsible for those crimes.
But in a Jan. 6 ruling, Spero cited U.S. Code Section 1373 which he uses as a loosely gathered loophole.
The federal law prevents local governments from withholding “information regarding the citizenship or immigration status, lawful or unlawful, of any individual” from immigration authorities.
“Nothing [in the law] addresses information concerning an inmate‘s release date,” Spero said. See what he did there?
Spero also found that Mirkarimi had “discretionary immunity” when he created the policy, meaning he cannot be held liable for a policy decision he made as a government official.
Wait, aren’t government officials supposed to be held liable for the decisions they make in the capacity of their jobs?
The main argument in the appeal centers on this issue.
“A government official should not be entitled to immunity for doing something that violates federal and state law,” Cordova said.
When Spero threw out the claims against San Francisco and Mirkarimi, he did at least decide that the Steinle family could continue to pursue claims against the U.S.
The federal lawsuit claims a Bureau of Land Management ranger set off a chain of events that led to the death of Steinle when he negligently left his firearm unsecured in a parked vehicle in San Francisco. The weapon that was stolen was the same one later used to shoot Steinle.
“A gun is used to hurt people, that’s what a gun is for,” Cordova said. “You have to use the absolute safest measures to keep that gun secured.”
Spero did at least rule that the allegation could be heard at trial.
“The risk of a thief stealing the handgun and shooting someone, whether intentionally or negligently, was reasonably foreseeable,” Spero wrote.
Though the ranger is not named in the federal lawsuit, ranger John Woychowski, Jr.’s identity was revealed through the criminal trial of Garcia Zarate.
Abraham Simmons, a spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, declined to comment.
The U.S. attorneys are expected to respond to the appeal by Jan. 5.
However it appears as if the City is sweating things pretty hard, which may indicate that they are more than aware that if the ninth district court grants the appeal they will all be in some seriously hot water.
According to KRON 4 :
SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — The U.S. government and the City of San Francisco are asking Kate Steinle’s family to dismiss the wrongful death lawsuit in a hearing on Friday.
Kate Steinle was shot and killed in July of 2015 on Pier 14 along San Francisco’s waterfront. Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, an undocumented immigrant, has been charged in the murder.
Lopez-Sanchez was released from the San Francisco City Jail in April.
The family of Kate Steinle filed the federal lawsuit in May of 2016 against former San Francisco sheriff Ross Mirkarimi, Immigration and Custom’s Enforcement, and the Bureau of Land Management.
The lawsuit seeks to hold the Bureau of Land Management, ICE, and former Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi accountable for providing “the means and opportunity for a repeat drug felon to secure a gun and kill Kate,” according to the complaint.
Mirkarimi refused to hold Lopez-Sanchez for ICE, citing San Francisco’s sanctuary city law.
Kate Steinle’s parents argue the gunman would have been kept in custody and deported if the city and federal officials had done their jobs.
As previously reported by Patch, the original lawsuit from 2015 was PARTIALLY dismissed, the judge stated that The family COULD proceed with the lawsuit against the federal government, but they could not sue the city of San Francisco or former Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi specifically.
The parents of a former Pleasanton resident who was allegedly fatally shot by an undocumented immigrant in 2015 can proceed with a lawsuit against the federal government, a U.S. magistrate judge has ruled. But U.S. Magistrate Judge Joseph Spero said in a decision Friday that the parents of Kathryn “Kate” Steinle can’t sue the city of San Francisco or former Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi.
Spero dismissed the city and Mirkarimi as defendants in the wrongful death lawsuit filed in federal court in San Francisco in May by parents James Steinle and Elizabeth Sullivan.
Kate Steinle, 32, a Pleasanton native who had recently moved to San Francisco, was walking on the city’s Pier 14 with her father in the early evening of July 1, 2015, when a she was hit in the back with a bullet.
Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, a Mexican citizen with a history of drug convictions and deportations, was arrested an hour later and charged with killing her with a gun that had been stolen four days earlier from the
car of a U.S. Bureau of Land Management ranger.
He is due to go on trial in San Francisco Superior Court next month on a charge of second-degree murder. He has pleaded not guilty and his defense lawyer has said he likely found the gun on the pier and discharged it
The lawsuit alleged the city and Mirkarimi were negligent in failing to inform federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials when Lopez-Sanchez was released from San Francisco jail two and one-half months before the shooting. But Spero said that while a U.S. law prohibits local governments
from restricting information given to ICE about an individual’s citizenship or immigration status, no federal or state laws require disclosure of a release date.
“No law required the Sheriff’s Department to share Lopez-Sanchez’s release date with ICE, nor did any law forbid Mirkarimi establishing a policy against such cooperation,” Spero wrote.
ICE, which had issued a detainer request for notification of Lopez-Sanchez’s release, already knew his immigration status, the magistrate said.
Spero said, however, that the parents’ allegation against the Bureau of Land Management was a viable legal claim, entitling the family to further proceedings in a summary judgment hearing or a trial.
That claim is that the unidentified ranger, by leaving the loaded weapon in a backpack in an unattended car, violated a duty to secure the handgun properly.
“A handgun is indisputably capable of inflicting serious injury and damage — as a deadly weapon, that is its very purpose,” Spero wrote. “Leaving a gun loaded makes that capability for harm readily accessible in the same way as leaving the key in the ignition of a vehicle,” he said.
Kate Steinle deserved to live. Her crime was nothing more than walking on a pier with her father to enjoy a pretty day. No one deserves to be gunned down like that. The federal judge should be sued as well for what sounds like pandering to the political platform of California by twisting and contorting the law to make it work however he sees it.