SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - The office of Mayor Ed Lee issued a statement that San Francisco is and always will be a "Sanctuary City" as thousands of Twitter users bashed a verdict finding a Mexican man not guilty of killing a woman.
Katie Steinle Shooting.
Lee did not elaborate in the statement issued Friday.
Two former city supervisors also defended San Francisco's sanctuary policy, which prohibits local cooperation with federal immigration authorities.
California state Sen. Scott Wiener says that public safety is improved when people who are in the country illegally can go to police without fear of deportation.
David Campos, who now chairs the San Francisco Democratic Party, said the jury system worked.
Jose Ines Garcia Zarate was released from jail despite a federal immigration detainer request in 2015 and months later, he shot and killed Kate Steinle on a city pier.
The Justice Department is considering bringing federal charges against a Mexican man found not guilty of killing a woman on a San Francisco pier.
Department spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores tells Fox News that the U.S. Attorney General's Office is looking at every option to prosecute Jose Ines Garcia Zarate "to the fullest extent available under the law because."
A Department of Justice official says federal prosecutors will look at possible illegal re-entry and/or violation of supervised release charges.
A San Francisco jury on Thursday found Garcia Zarate not guilty of killing Kate Steinle in a case that touched off a national immigration debate.
Under a sanctuary city law, the San Francisco sheriff's department had released Garcia Zarate from jail despite a federal immigration request to detain him for deportation
Federal officials are denouncing sanctuary cities after a jury in San Francisco found a Mexican man not guilty of murder in the killing of a woman.
Jose Ines Garcia Zarate had been deported five times and was wanted for a sixth deportation when Kate Steinle was fatally shot in the back in 2015. Garcia Zarate said the shooting was an accident.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Deputy Director Thamos Homan says San Francisco's policy of refusing to honor federal immigration detainers "is a blatant threat to public safety."
Rep. Mike McCaul, the Republican chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, says Garcia Zarate's acquittal is "shocking."
Though the 2015 shooting death of Kate Steinle became a flashpoint in an intense national debate over immigration, the issue was never addressed inside the courtroom where a jury acquitted a Mexican national in the killing.
From the outset, the judge barred any mention of Jose Ines Garcia Zarate's immigration status or the five times he was arrested and deported to Mexico before the shooting.
San Francisco prosecutors argued the shooting was murder. The jury sided with the defense, which argued that the shooting was an accident. Jurors found him guilty only of being a felon in possession of a firearm.
President Donald Trump called the verdict "disgraceful." Trump and federal officials blame Steinle's death on San Francisco's "sanctuary city" immigration policy.
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