The family of Kathryn Steinle filed a federal lawsuit on Friday against San Francisco and other government agencies — just days after the city re-affirmed its “sanctuary city” policy to shelter illegal aliens, including criminals, from deportation.
The 32-year-old Steinle was walking with her father on San Francisco’s Pier 14 last July 1 when she was shot and killed by an illegal alien, Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, who had already been convicted of seven felonies and deported five times to Mexico.
According to the local CBS News affiliate in San Francisco, the lawsuit “names the city of San Francisco, former Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement” and “alleges that officials allowed Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, an undocumented immigrant with a history of drug offenses, to go free and obtain the gun that killed her.”
The family’s lawyer said: “The Steinle Family hopes that their actions today will serve to highlight the lax enforcement of gun safety regulations among the law enforcement agencies involved and bureaucratic confusion so that this will not happen to others.”
According to the Los Angeles Times, the lawsuit largely focuses on a memorandum issued in March 2015 by then-Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi, in which Mirkarimi prevented local authorities from communicating with federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) about detainees.
Mirkarimi was replaced by the voters. The new sheriff, Vicki Hennessy, promised to expand the city’s cooperation with federal officials.
However, she was opposed by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors and local amnesty activists, who dismissed Steinle’s death as a mere unfortunate occurrence. They placed the blame at the feet of the BLM, from which the murder weapon was stolen. (The BLM is named in the lawsuit.)
On Tuesday, the Board of Supervisors approved a compromise in which local authorities would be permitted to contact ICE in cases where an inmate “has been convicted of a serious felony in the past five years or has been convicted of three felonies in specified state penal codes, such as robbery or assault with a deadly weapon, arising out of three separate incidents in the past five years,” the San Francisco Examiner reported. Other crimes, including some felonies, would still not result in an inmate being reported to ICE.
Hennessy acknowledged that the new sanctuary city policy would not have saved Kate Steinle.
The Steinle family has also expressed disappointment at being unable to convince Congress to pass “Kate’s Law,” which would prevent similar occurrences in the future by applying mandatory five-year sentences to illegal aliens who are deported and return illegally to the U.S.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. His new e-book, Leadership Secrets of the Kings and Prophets: What the Bible’s Struggles Teach Us About Today, is on sale through Amazon Kindle Direct. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.