Relatives of the woman shot to death on a San Francisco pier last year filed a lawsuit Friday saying the illegal immigrant accused in the killing should have been in custody if not for a series of mistakes by city and federal workers.
The killing of Kate Steinle in July 2015 and the arrest of Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez put San Francisco’s leaders on the defensive as critics and outside politicians called for a change in the city’s sanctuary law. Despite national outrage, San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors on Tuesday upheld those protections for people in the country illegally.
The sheriff at the time of the killing, Ross Mirkarimi, is named in the lawsuit, along with ICE and the Bureau of Land Management. Mirkarimi previously defended the release of the suspect, a repeat drug offender and habitual border-crosser.
Frank Pitre, the lawyer for Steinle’s family, said the lawsuit points out “failures at every level.”
“We’re approaching the one year anniversary of Katie’s death and it is a particularly difficult time for the family.”
He said a seven-time convicted felon was able to obtain a BLM officer’s handgun due to negligence and ICE agents did not pursue his deportation.