On July 1, 2015, Kate Steinle was shot and killed while walking along Pier 14 in San Francisco, California. The killer, Jose Garcia-Zarate, claimed he accidentally fired the gun which he found wrapped in a cloth underneath his bench.
In the California state trial, Garcia-Zarate was found not guilty of the murder and assault of Kate Steinle. He was sentenced to 3 years in prison for being a felon in possession of a firearm, but was almost immediately released for time served.
Following the announcement of the verdict, President Trump slammed the decision on Twitter.
A disgraceful verdict in the Kate Steinle case! No wonder the people of our Country are so angry with Illegal Immigration.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 1, 2017
He continued that the federal government would crack down on sanctuary cities, and consider federal charges against Jose Garcia-Zarate.
This week, Garcia-Zarate’s lawyers filed suit in a federal court in San Francisco against the United States Federal Government claiming “vindictive prosecution,” double jeopardy, and collusion with state and local authorities.
His lawyer stated, “This case was highly publicized, both locally and nationally. Almost immediately after the death of Ms. Steinle, then presidential candidate Donald Trump began to use Mr. Garcia-Zarate as the symbol of the dangers of illegal immigrants and the need for a wall between the United States and Mexico.”
His attorneys conclude that their lawsuit is trying to prove “to any high-profile defendant, especially one that is an undocumented immigrant, that their successful exercise of due process rights will not be respected and will result in the heavy hammer of a federal prosecution.”
Kate’s Law, which passed the House in June, mandates stricter penalties for illegal immigrants who return to the U.S. after being deported.