Calls for 'Kate's Wall' emerge after Mexican immigrant's acquittal in Steinle killing

Calls for 'Kate's Wall' emerge after Mexican immigrant's acquittal in Steinle killing

Jose Ines Garcia Zarate, acquitted last week of killing Kate Steinle in San Francisco, now faces federal gun and immigration charges.

A federal grand jury in San Francisco indicted him on Tuesday on one count each of felon in possession of a firearm and of "being an alien illegally and unlawfully in the United States" in possession of a gun and ammunition, according to the indictment.

Before Steinle's death in July 2015, Garcia Zarate was deported five times; at the time of the shooting he was wanted for a sixth deportation on drug-related felonies.

Months before Kate Steinle's murder, San Francisco authorities released Jose Zarate from custody, ignoring a request from federal authorities to turn him over to ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement).

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Zarate was acquitted of first and second degree murder and involuntary manslaughter on Thursday.

Jurors were asked to determine whether Garcia Zarate intentionally opened fire on a crowd at Pier 14 or whether the.40-caliber handgun he was holding accidentally discharged.

The allegations mirror the lower charge Garcia Zarate was convicted of in state court.

Kathryn Steinle, a 32-year-old medical device saleswoman, was shot dead while she was on a San Francisco Pier on July 1, 2015. The jury found Garcia Zarate guilty of being a felon in possession of a handgun, which was stolen from a U.S. Bureau of Land Management ranger's auto four days before Steinle's death. San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón said the jury's decision was "hard to receive".

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Authorities said the gun Garcia Zarate used was stolen from the auto of an off-duty agent for the Bureau of Land Management. Her death has now become a rallying cry for more stringent immigration laws, including a crackdown on "sanctuary cities" and the creation of a wall along the U.S. -Mexico border.

The jury sided with the defense after a weeks-long trial and six days of deliberation.

CNN reached out to Garcia Zarate's attorneys on Tuesday but didn't receive an immediate response. President Trump has threatened to withhold federal funding to cities with similar immigration policies, but a federal judge in California permanently blocked his executive order.

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