- Reuters/Rick Wilking
- President Donald Trump lashed out after a Mexican man who illegally entered the US was acquitted of murder in the death of a woman in San Francisco.
- Trump called the case a “complete travesty of justice” and said Democrats would “pay a big price” at the ballot box for being “weak on crime.”
- San Francisco is a sanctuary city, where local law enforcement limits cooperation with federal immigration authorities, and the killer had illegally entered the US six times.
President Donald Trump lashed out at Democrats on Twitter on Friday, the morning after a Mexican man who illegally entered the US six times was acquitted of murder in the death of a young woman walking on a San Francisco pier with her father.
“The Kate Steinle killer came back and back over the weakly protected Obama border, always committing crimes and being violent, and yet this info was not used in court,” Trump tweeted.
A jury cleared Jose Ines Garcia Zarate, 45, of murder and manslaughter charges on Thursday in connection to the fatal shooting of Kathryn Steinle, with his defense having argued that the shooting was a ricochet and an accident.
He was convicted of possessing a firearm as a felon, however, which means the jury did have some knowledge of his criminal history.
In Trump’s tweets on Friday morning he referred to Zarate’s “exoneration” as a “complete travesty of justice,” though acquittal and exoneration have different legal definitions.
Trump seized on Zarate’s case early, as the killing took place in 2015 around the time Trump began campaigning for president on the platform of building a wall along the US’s southern border with Mexico. On Thursday evening, Trump called the verdict “disgraceful” and alluded to the case’s link to illegal immigration.
Ultimately, Trump placed the blame with Democrats, who oppose Trump’s immigration policies and support sanctuary cities, where local law enforcement limits cooperation with federal immigration law.
If federal immigration law had been implemented, Zarate would have been detained longer after his seven past felony arrests. Trump has threatened to cut sanctuary cities’ federal funding.
“The Schumer/Pelosi Democrats are so weak on Crime that they will pay a big price in the 2018 and 2020 Elections,” Trump tweeted Friday.