Live

Watch CBSN Live

White nationalist group set up memorial to Kate Steinle

Kate Steinle murder verdict

SAN FRANCISCO -- A white nationalist group set up a memorial for Kate Steinle near where she was shot at Pier 14, just one of several impassioned reactions after an undocumented immigrant was found not guilty of murder in her shooting death, CBS San Francisco reports

The group, called Identity Evropa, decorated the memorial with flowers, candles, and messages that read "Build the wall" and that Steinle's death "will be avenged." 

The group posted about the memorial through its Twitter account late Thursday night and Friday morning, calling for a boycott of San Francisco and saying the acquittal was "an indictment of not only San Francisco but our country overall."

Jose Ines Garcia Zarate – a man who had previously been deported five times – was acquitted of both murder and manslaughter with the verdict handed down by the jury Thursday afternoon. He was only found guilty of being a felon in possession of a firearm.

kate-steinle-memorial-2017-12-1.png
A memorial set up on a San Francisco pier to Kate Steinle.  CBS San Francisco

Friday morning, the White House released a statement, saying in part, "Had San Francisco enforced our nation's immigration laws, the Steinle family would be celebrating this holiday with all of their loved ones."

Thursday evening, President Trump took to Twitter to decry the verdict. After the jury's decision was announced, the president tweeted the verdict was "disgraceful."

Friday morning, he continued to criticize the verdict on Twitter.  

Some people walking along the Embarcadero paused for a moment at Pier 14 to look at the memorial. Those who work and live in San Francisco were still trying to come to terms with the jury's decision.

"It feels like the verdict could have been harsher," said Pleasanton resident Lisa Thordsen. "That's something else to look at. But that's for our politicians to look at as well and how they handle cases like that. Someone may have dropped the ball on the prosecution side."

"Looking at it and the gun powder, that part right there is kind of what gave me doubt of the intent," said Kristin Kboy of San Francisco.

The decision made those CBS San Francisco talked to put themselves in the jurors' shoes.

"I wasn't sitting in the juror box. I imagine those people are having deep thoughts over their coffees this morning," said Thordsen.

Garcia Zarate is back in court on December 14th. That is when his sentencing date will be announced.

Federal officials got an arrest warrant for Garcia Zarate days after the shooting, which they say was a violation of his supervised release on the illegal re-entry conviction. A judge unsealed that warrant Friday.

Michael Cardoza, a longtime San Francisco Bay Area lawyer, said the prosecutor overreached in asking for a first-degree murder conviction, which would have meant that Garcia Zarate intended to kill Steinle despite strong evidence that the bullet ricocheted around 90 feet before striking her.

Cardoza said a better case could have been made to convince jurors that Garcia Zarate had a "reckless disregard for human life" and to convict him of second-degree murder.

Steinle's father, Jim, told the San Francisco Chronicle that "justice was rendered, but it was not served."

"We're just shocked - saddened and shocked ... that's about it," he said in an interview described as the family's last. 

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome browser logo Chrome Safari browser logo Safari Continue