Kathryn Steinle's parents to file legal claims against S.F., feds in Pier 14 slaying: http://t.co/2qXGMUSpBF pic.twitter.com/HcqFuC0osT— SFGate (@SFGate) September 1, 2015
In the latest chapter in the ongoing story surrounding the shooting death, one year ago, of Kathryn Steinle on Pier 14 in San Francisco, the City of SF is moving to dismiss a lawsuit filed by Steinle's parents claiming negligence on the part of the city, the Sheriff's Department, and federal officials which directly led to their daughter's death. As KRON 4 reports, the City continues to defend the fact that it had no responsibility to inform federal immigration officials of the release of suspected shooter Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez under the Sanctuary City ordinance.
Furthermore, per the Chronicle, the motion argues, "All of the evidence shows that Lopez-Sanchez randomly chose a victim," and he had no history of violent crime, and the City therefore "had no way of knowing [Steinle] in particular would be harmed."
Defense attorneys for Lopez-Sanchez have argued that the bullet ricocheted off the ground and therefore Steinle's death should not even be considered a murder, but there has been forensic testimony to refute that. Lopez-Sanchez has yet to stand trial.
Lopez-Sanchez, as you'll recall, had been deported from the US five times before landing in federal prison for nearly four years for illegal re-entry. He was remanded to San Francisco's custody in March 2015 to face a previous marijuana charge, which local prosecutors decided to dismiss. He was then released, under Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi, in April 2015, and under the Sanctuary City policy SF had no responsibility to inform federal immigration officials of his release.
Steinle was then shot by a bullet allegedly fired by Lopez-Sanchez, who claimed to have been shooting at sea lions with a stolen gun while under the influence of prescription drugs, on Pier 14 in July 2015. The case sparked national headlines because of the immigration issue, leading to SF's Board of Supervisors twice reaffirming the Sanctuary City policy, and newly elected Sheriff Vicki Hennessy compromising with the Board on the issue of when it's appropriate to contact Immigration and Customs with regard to an undocumented person in SF's custody. Under the new ordinance, Hennessy has "discretion to notify immigration agents if the inmate had a violent or serious felony conviction in the past seven years or three or more lesser felonies arising from different events in the past five years."
Attorney's for the Steinle family are expected to file a response to the City's motion in the coming days.