TOWNHALL — San Francisco resident Kathryn Steinle, 32, her father and a friend were strolling in July along Pier 14, when a bullet struck Steinle in the chest. Two hours later, Steinle died. For Jim Steinle and Liz Sullivan, the shooting presented every parent’s nightmare. For the city of San Francisco, the shooting devolved into bad press. It became clear that the apparent shooter, Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, a seven-time convicted felon and undocumented immigrant who had been deported to Mexico five times, was free because of San Francisco’s sanctuary city policies.
Steinle and Sullivan have filed a lawsuit against San Francisco, former Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi, the federal government and Lopez-Sanchez, who maintains the shooting was an accident. “This tragedy was a by-product of the abuse of authority,” the suit asserts, by the sheriff and City Hall — as well as the “failure” of Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials to do their job — and the Bureau of Land Management because a BLM agent left his gun unsecured in his car and it was stolen and used to shoot Steinle. Steinle’s “death was both foreseeable and preventable had the law enforcement agencies, officials and/or officers involved simply followed the laws, regulations and/or procedures which they swore to uphold.”
The whole mess began, I should note, after federal authorities transferred Lopez-Sanchez to San Francisco because of a 20-year-old warrant for his arrest on marijuana charges. That transfer never should have happened, and Steinle would be alive today if there had been no marijuana warrant lingering. It is nearly impossible for a prosecutor to win such a moldy drug case. After the district attorney dropped the case, the Sheriff’s Department freed Sanchez in keeping with a 2013 ordinance that prohibits local enforcement from honoring ICE detainer requests unless an undocumented immigrant has been convicted of a violent felony in the past seven years. (The new sheriff, Vicki Hennessy, says she is working closely with the district attorney to prevent inmate transfers on charges that are bound to be dropped.)
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