CNN political analyst Kirsten Powers tweeted Thursday evening that the verdict in the Kate Steinle murder case proved that Steinle’s killing was a “tragic accident” that Donald Trump had exploited to encourage bigotry.
Jury found that the shooting was an accident. Nonetheless Trump repeatedly portrayed this as a vicious intentional murder (versus a tragic accident) in an effort to stir up bigotry against Mexicans. https://t.co/6dEEP8DTKs
— Kirsten Powers (@KirstenPowers) December 1, 2017
Steinle, 32, was killed on July 1 while walking with her father on San Francisco’s Pier 14. She was struck by a single bullet fired from a stolen gun that the defendant, Jose Ines Garcia Zarate, happened to be carrying.
Zarate is an illegal alien and seven-time convicted felon who has been deported from the United States five times. He was released from incarceration in April 2015 under San Francisco’s “sanctuary city” policy, which restricts local cooperation with federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The San Francisco jury convicted him of possessing a weapon as a felon, but gave credence to Zarate’s lawyers’ argument that the gun fired accidentally.
Guilty or not, the “accident” that Powers describes involved several intentional acts of lawbreaking by Zarate. He entered the country illegally; he committed a drug crime that caused him to be incarcerated (after which he would have been deported if not for San Francisco’s “sanctuary city” policy); and he took a pistol that he allegedly “found” but which actually belonged to a federal Bureau of Land Management agent whose car had been burglarized.
As for stirring up “bigotry,” Trump made clear throughout his presidential campaign that he was opposed to illegal aliens, not Mexicans as such. He even visited the president of Mexico, Enrique Peña Nieto, during the campaign.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named one of the “most influential” people in news media in 2016. He is the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.