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Illegal Alien Walks In Steinle Death

Well, this is just what the country needs: [1]

An undocumented Mexican immigrant was acquitted of murder and manslaughter charges on Thursday in the killing of Kathryn Steinle, whose death while out walking on a San Francisco pier became a touchstone in the national debate over immigration.

A jury, which reached its verdict on its sixth day of deliberation, convicted the man, Jose Ines Garcia Zarate, only of being a felon in possession of a firearm. He was also found not guilty of assault with a firearm. A sentencing date had not yet been set.

Ms. Steinle’s death in July 2015 fed into a fierce debate over whether immigrants without legal status should be deported more aggressively, and over the role local law enforcement should play.

Ms. Steinle, known as Kate, a 32-year-old medical equipment saleswoman, was walking along Pier 14 in San Francisco when she was struck by a bullet and collapsed into her father’s arms. Mr. Garcia Zarate acknowledged firing the weapon, but said it was an accident.

Mr. Garcia Zarate had been homeless at the time of the shooting and had multiple felony convictions and five prior deportations to Mexico. He had been set free from jail only months before the shooting, in defiance of requests by federal immigration authorities, who had asked that he be held longer so he could be deported again.

More details from a San Francisco TV station: [2]

The Steinle family has been waiting more than two years for this day. Kate Steinle was shot and killed when she was walking with her father and a friend on the pier.


Garcia Zarate, who was homeless at the time, claimed he found the gun wrapped in a piece of cloth under a swivel chair at the pier. He says he picked it up, and it accidentally fired, hitting Steinle in the back. The bullet, the defense claimed, ricocheted and then traveled 78 feet before striking Steinle.

The prosecution has always maintained that Garcia Zarate had the gun all along, aimed it at Steinle and fired. But, because, he had little experience with guns, the bullet ricocheted first, a common mistake made by amateurs.

I understand that for Garcia Zarate to have been found guilty of voluntary manslaughter (the charge on which he was being tried), the prosecution had to convince the jury that he had fired the gun intentionally. But how did they not convict him of involuntary manslaughter?

There might be a good legal explanation for this. There really might. Wait for all the details before making your decision.

I realize that I am shouting into cyclone with that advice.

This is a massive gift to Donald Trump. The jury might well have botched this case, but even if they didn’t, as an emotional and political matter, this is a complete disaster. The fact is, if that dirtbag felon had not been in this country illegally, Kate Steinle would be alive today. There’s no getting around that. A jury in San Francisco — a sanctuary city [3] — let him walk free. There’s no getting around that either. Even if Donald Trump said nothing about this, it would be outrageous.

But Donald Trump is not going to say nothing about this. Any other president would talk about respecting the rule of law and the legal process, even when we get an unjust verdict. Not this one. And I’m not 100 percent convinced I want him to say the proper thing. In its editorial denouncing the verdict [4], the San Francisco Chronicle points out how illegal immigrant-friendly California has become:

Gov. Jerry Brown recently signed SB54, the “California Values Act,” which prohibits state and local law enforcement from asking about a person’s immigration status or participating in immigration raids with the feds. It also limits the authority of police and sheriffs to share information on inmates’ release dates, or to transfer people to immigration authorities. An exception would be for those convicted of one of roughly 800 crimes in the past 15 years.

A sanctuary state, they have now.

The Chicago Tribune quoted [5] one of the defense attorneys, casting the case in a political light:

“From Day 1 this case was used as a means to foment hate, to foment division and to foment a program of mass deportation. It was used to catapult a presidency along that philosophy of hate of others,” defense attorney Francisco Ugarte said after the verdict. “I believe today is a day of vindication for the rest of immigrants.”

Did this jury do an O.J., acquitting a man who was almost certainly guilty, to troll Donald Trump? Or did the prosecution legitimately fail to make its case? Does any of that matter regarding what’s about to happen now?

I’ll have what he’s having:

180 Comments (Open | Close)

180 Comments To "Illegal Alien Walks In Steinle Death"

#1 Comment By Fran Macadam On December 2, 2017 @ 3:17 am

It’s amazing to me how so many Americans see the answer to societal problems as a police state in which everyone is required to present identity papers to buy and sell. Eventually, for security reasons, compulsory chip implants will be the preference and then required. Yes, all, whether great or small, will be required to take the number, if they want to live, breathe and be able to eat. Perhaps some of the faux religious folks don’t know where this prophecy comes from. It will be the triumph of the most pervasive national security state the world has ever known. Truly, exceptional.

#2 Comment By Fran Macadam On December 2, 2017 @ 3:44 am

“As for hunting anything from the San Francisco piers, try it and see how many shots you get off before you are taken away in handcuffs.”

Far more likely is removal in a body bag.

#3 Comment By Jeremy 2 On December 2, 2017 @ 3:52 am


I wonder if the commenters who wish death on all Californians believe that Steinle’s family deserve to die, too?

That said, I don’t agree with a Calexit because I’m not fond of living under permanent one-party rule.

#4 Comment By JonF On December 2, 2017 @ 6:51 am

re: Re: If “identity theft” is the loophole, I don’t see how a “verifiable national ID card” is the antidote.

My thought on this is that an employer could look up the card online (via a serial number) and view an image of it to verify that the card was valid and not a fake. The only risk I can see is that someone might somehow get hold of a card of someone who looked like a little them and claim to be that person but that would be a bit far fetched (and a lost or stolen card would be taken out of the system and hence be unverifiable). Oh, and of course a dishonest employer might hire people under the table and not verify them– but that will always be a risk, however with a fairly tight ID system we can stiffen penalties and close off the ease with which such an employer can claim to have been deceived.

#5 Comment By TR On December 2, 2017 @ 9:32 am

It’s hard to read all these comments–and frankly I did pass over some of the more obvious “all illegals are bad” entries–but has anyone looked at the judge’s instructions to the jury?

Sometimes, juries actually do pay attention to the law as it is explained to them by the one supposedly neutral party who is allowed to address them.

#6 Comment By Daniel (not Larrison) On December 2, 2017 @ 10:24 am

Craig wrote:

Rendering judgments from afar, using headlines about heavily politicized stories is unwise, to say the least.

Well said.

It brings to mind the “crazy Uncle” axiom: if a criticism would sound more appropriate out of the mouth of your crazy Uncle, then it’s probably an unsound criticism.

A given crazy Uncle might say stuff like this:

“The Generals are so stupid. I could win Afghanistan in 5 weeks if they just listened to me.”


“You know what the problem in this country is today? I’ll tell you what’s the problem today: kids are coddled! If those criminals were beaten around more as kids, they’d be more respectful!”


“That jury doesn’t know [email protected]! Why, just by my Google searches and what Fox News tells me, it’s simple to see he’s guilty as hell!”

It’s far easier to come up with black-and-white villains and heroes than actual human beings doing their job on the jury.

Rod, I’m disappointed.

#7 Comment By Youknowho On December 2, 2017 @ 3:59 pm

If Zarate had stayed in Mexico, there would still be a stolen police weapon going around, and how and when it would be used would have been a matter of dumb luck. Steimle would have lived, but someone else might have died….

#8 Comment By Logical Meme On December 2, 2017 @ 4:53 pm

This verdict shouldn’t surprise you. In time, we’ll learn the demographics of the jury. It’s SF, so we can infer the jury’s political persuasions (whether white or non-white) and their level of anti-white animus (especially if non-white, but probably also white).

20+ years ago, the O.J. Simpson defense team wanted (and got) a jury [6] almost entirely of low-IQ, Democrat ‘minorities’ (i.e., 8 black women, 1 black man, 1 Hispanic man, and 2 white women… not a single while male on the jury. All 12 jurors were Democrats, and only 2 jurors went to college.) It’s why Johnnie Cochran routinely wore African tribal power ties during the trial. (Don Vinson, a reknowned jury trial consultant, has [7] about [8]. It is also why jury selection consultation is a real, quantitative, serious, and highly lucrative profession.)

For non-whites living in what they construe as AmeriKKKa, racial solidarity is more important than the objective facts of a specific case. Coupled with the ‘deductive-reasoning-challenged’ nature of CA’s new demographics (see Jason Richwine’s work), being a non-white in a high profile, national case means you are obligated to interpret and act accordingly, through a racial lens.

The flip side of the coin was the Rodney King [9], which the media repeatedly bemoaned as being ‘all white’. In that case, the police were rightly acquitted. But because this jury didn’t follow The Narrative, but rather the facts of the case, huge swathes of L.A. temporarily turned into Sierra Leone, with whites like Regineld Denny feeling the full brunt of it.

Flash forward 25 years and we’ve had many doppelganger (e.g., the bogus, media-fueled, ‘Hands Up, Don’t Shoot’ narrative surrounding Michael Brown and the outrage when officer Darren Wilson was acquitted.)

Yesterday, Zarate’s defense attorney Matt Gonzalez bizarrely (or not so bizarrely, depending on how one sees these issues) [10] to make the verdict about… Trump. “For those who might be critical of this verdict,” Gonzalez said outside the courtroom, “there are a number of people that have commented on this case in the last couple of years — the attorney general of the United States, the president and vice president of the United States — let me just remind them that they are themselves are under investigation by a special prosecutor in Washington, D.C.” When I watched his statement yesterday, Gonzalez also intimated that the Zarate case was almost a litmus test on the inhumanity of mass deportation, blah blah. IOW, the defense team thoroughly politicized the case.

There will be more such cases in the future, high-profile cases that the media and liberals will magnify as The Case of Our Times, and they will similarly fall along racial lines. As non-white demographics become increasingly secured in places like CA, the shape of the racial fault lines will become increasingly clear, and the levels of injustice that SJW-infused juries will mete out on whites (as payback) will make the Zarate case seem like child’s play.

#9 Comment By Geoff Guth On December 2, 2017 @ 7:22 pm

If you haven’t read it yet, [11] has a useful analysis of the case.

After reading it, it sounds like the jurors were doing their job just fine. People may get all hopping mad about it as you say, but that will be because bad actors in the media decide that it’s useful to do so.

Of course, we live in a world where there are a ton of bad actors in the media and reality doesn’t matter, just perception. So your point still stands.

Though an update might be called for.

#10 Comment By Criminal D Lawyer On December 2, 2017 @ 7:39 pm

If you want an explanation of how this verdict was justified, follow this link to a conservative lawyer who links to a conservative prosecutor at RedState.



#11 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On December 2, 2017 @ 8:49 pm

Yes Noah and Publius, you’ve made it very clear that values and norms have nothing to do with why or how you stand by your man. I am equally caustic in responding to liberals and Clintonites who get their jollies lecturing nameless, faceless trump voters on how stupid they are… which is not a road map to building an electoral majority. Voters have lots of reasons for voting as they do, and are seldom satisfied with the results.

It was a cop’s service weapon, and was stored in violation of department policy.

Right. That has little or nothing to do with gun control laws. It remains true that if the cop had properly stored his service weapon, the deceased would still be alive today, no matter how loose or tight our borders, and no matter how many aliens are or are not in the country illegally.

#12 Comment By FUTURE On December 3, 2017 @ 7:22 am

Live in SF and get a feel for how it is to be white and a minority. Blessing to diversification. Whatever that means.

#13 Comment By Oakinhouston On December 3, 2017 @ 9:26 am


“Live in SF and get a feel for how it is to be white and a minority. Blessing to diversification. Whatever that means.”

I’m not sure what your comment means?

To the extent the law, the authorities, or society in general treats minorities different than whites -better or worse- that’s against both the Constitution and basic Christian principles, and should stop.

I honestly hope you are not arguing that it sucks to be a minority, that whites should have a preferred place in law and society, and that treating whites the way minorities are treated is an affront that should not be tolerated.

#14 Comment By Tyro On December 3, 2017 @ 10:29 am

“Involuntary manslaughter” required intent. If the person intended to shoot the gun and killed someone, then he could have been guilty of that. I say this as a person who is pissed that the person who killed my relative in a car accident was found “not guilty” of “reckless endangerment,” even though I ultimate understand why that verdict came down.

Every day in this country, some idiot picks up a gun and the guns goes off and accidentally kills someone. If every case of that is a jailable offense, a lot of toddlers are going to start filling up our prisons.

#15 Comment By Richard Parker On December 3, 2017 @ 1:16 pm

I use to love S.F. and visit often. I no longer do. It’s gotten dirty and too many of “The Lost” on the street (sometimes in your face or sometimes you have to step over them.)

I get some of S.F. charm in other Bay Area cities. Downtown San Jose was still nice last time I was there (but it’s been a while.)

I’m for SFExit.

#16 Comment By Richard Parker On December 3, 2017 @ 1:28 pm

“Jons says:December 2, 2017 at 1:32 am”

Takes the thread!

#17 Comment By Youknowho On December 3, 2017 @ 1:45 pm

The “illegal immigrant” angle is a side issue.

What you have is a regulation police firearm gone missing. One that has no safety against accidental firing.

Odds are that this gun will sooner or later will be picked up. Odds are that whoever will pick it up is unaware of how easily it goes off. Odds are than any bullet fired will hit something or someone.

In this case it hit SOMETHING, the pavement. Unfortunately, it ricocheted, and hit SOMEONE.

That the hand that picked it up was attached to an illegal immigrant has no bearing on the outcome.

The officer that was careless in securing his weapon, and allowing it to go missing SHOULD be the one held responsible.

#18 Comment By muad’dib On December 3, 2017 @ 2:22 pm

Every day in this country, some idiot picks up a gun and the guns goes off and accidentally kills someone. If every case of that is a jailable offense, a lot of toddlers are going to start filling up our prisons.

Can’t blame a toddler for being a toddler, but the idiot who left the gun for the toddler to find should be spending a decade or more in the Big House.

#19 Comment By Alex Brown On December 3, 2017 @ 3:09 pm

That general on the picture at the end of this post may not be 100% bad guy. Serbs were made unilateral villains by the West in a complex ethnic struggle. Now it may be our turn: calls to white genocide. Acquittal by a jury in a killing of white woman by illegal ‘person of color’. And all this is happening while whites are still a majority. Wonder why they feel cornered and voted the way they did? Brace yourselves. Yugoslavia may well be coming to a state near you.

#20 Comment By Mike Schilling On December 3, 2017 @ 3:34 pm

Live in SF and get a feel for how it is to be white and a minority. Blessing to diversification. Whatever that means.

I work in SF, I’m white (though, Kevin Macdonald doesn’t think so), and the last thing I feel is oppressed.

#21 Comment By Youknowho On December 3, 2017 @ 3:36 pm


In this case, the idiot who left the gun for the toddler to find is the police officer who did not secure the gun according to regulations.

#22 Comment By Alex Brown On December 3, 2017 @ 4:07 pm

Embedded chips are already relatively widely used in Sweden, for example, to pay transit fares. This technology was invented in the US about 20 years back and despite opposition, I believe will eventually become mandatory. It will be much improved by then. Even now, the non-invasive facial recognition tech used in Windows 10 or iPhone X has just 1 in a million error rate.
And given our growing levels of distrust not just to police but virtually everyone else, I think we’ll end up with some kind of ‘event recorders’ similar to ones currently used on the airplanes. It is already possible to mount tiny camera in a button on your clothes, and record all your daily encounters, and this tech is pretty cheap. Smile. Everything will be recorded, by you and your surrounding.

#23 Comment By Kari Q On December 3, 2017 @ 7:09 pm

I can’t comment on the verdict, but when I did a Google search on the weapon in question Sig Sauer I came across this:


Apparently some of these weapons had a malfunction that caused them to discharge when dropped. The video at the site was made by a sporting goods dealer who dropped what he claimed were Sig Sauer P320s, and 2 out of 3 discharged when dropped.

I don’t know if this was the model that was involved, but if so, it doesn’t seem unreasonable to me that it may have gone off accidentally.

#24 Comment By Mia On December 3, 2017 @ 7:36 pm

“The officer that was careless in securing his weapon, and allowing it to go missing SHOULD be the one held responsible.”

Police and weapons could be a big issue, too, if you factor in things like the controversy that came up a number of years ago when they made it a problem for people with domestic violence charges to own guns. The result was that so many police officers then couldn’t carry guns, because so many of them had had domestic violence charges brought against them, that they had to make an exception so they wouldn’t lose the right to carry them. But do most people know about that? Why or why not? So the media picks what side they want to be on and riles everyone up on it until they get whatever social conflict they want.

My own personal opinion on this story, as someone who wasn’t following it, is that the illegal entry into the US is being addressed by his pending deportation, and it was correct to deal with those issues separately. It’s not like he’s just going to stay in the US anyway as if nothing happened.

#25 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On December 3, 2017 @ 8:44 pm

Serbs were made unilateral villains by the West in a complex ethnic struggle.

That’s true of Kosovo. E.g. there are credible accounts that Kosovar thugs were in the habit of kidnapping and raping Serbian girls before Milosevic abrogated Kosovo’s administrative status as an autonomous territory. On the other hand, there isn’t much doubt about Serbian generals directing Serbian soldiers to commit mass rape and genocide in Bosnia. Nor are Croatian hands clean, either in complicity for events in Bosnia, or treatment of Serb minorities in Croatian territory. IF only there had been an internationalist party capable of suppressing the lot of them.

#26 Comment By Richard Parker On December 3, 2017 @ 11:26 pm

I don’t the rest of the USA has much to worry about the military might of California sweeping across the fruited plains.

OTOH, in case of unpopular federal intervention, some of California could easily become ungovernable due to passive resistance.

#27 Comment By Thomas Hobbes On December 4, 2017 @ 12:18 am

FUTURE says:
Live in SF and get a feel for how it is to be white and a minority. Blessing to diversification. Whatever that means.

I am deeply confused by this comment. I am white and lived in SF until a couple of years ago. SF is a super white/asian city. I never felt remotely like a minority. The biggest demographic issue in SF is that all the non-rich people (no matter their skin pigment) are being priced out by tech bros.

#28 Comment By Tom S. On December 4, 2017 @ 11:33 am

The gentleman who committed suicide was a Croat.

#29 Comment By Bob Koelle On December 4, 2017 @ 6:23 pm

“…in defiance of requests by federal immigration authorities, who had asked that he be held longer so he could be deported again.”
Zarate was held by the city for 19 days after the marijuana charge was dropped, waiting for ICE to produce a warrant. The charges were dropped on March 27, and the city held him until April 15.
There are a lot of other mis-representations in the way this story was reported around the media. For instance, USA Today notes “The gun was stolen from the SUV of a U.S. Bureau of Land Management ranger” but not only was Zarate not accused of the theft, the prosecution agreed that he definitely didn’t steal the gun. A tragic case that was bungled by the prosecution.

#30 Comment By Youknowho On December 5, 2017 @ 3:21 pm

@Bob Koelle

Good to get the details straight. Zarate did not steal a gun. Someone else did. Someone who probably used it to commit a felony as it could not be traced to him. And then dumped it.

Zarate picked it up. I believe that it was accidental because a) the gun has the tendecy to fire at the slightest wrong touch. b) the bullet ricocheted on the pavement. Thus when the gun fired, it was aimed downward. No one knowingly goes around shooting the ground. And Zarate was careful enough to keep the barrel pointing down.

The rest of teh noise about illegal aliens is just that, noise.

The morale? Such guns that can fire so easily should be carefully kept, and secured, and preferably not loaded when stored. If the cop whose gun it was had done it, Steimle would still be alive.