Family of slain Cal Poly grad can sue BLM, but not San Francisco

January 10, 2017
Kathryn Steinle

Kathryn Steinle

A federal judge has ruled the family of slain Cal Poly grad Kathryn Steinle can sue the federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM), but not the city of San Francisco. The judge also removed Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) from the lawsuit. [Mercury News]

The Steinle family had named the city of San Francisco, the San Francisco sheriff, BLM and ICE in a wrongful death suit.

On July 1, 2015, Steinle, 32, was walking with her father along Pier 14 in San Francisco when she was shot in the back and killed. The gun used in the shooting was a service weapon that belonged to a BLM ranger.

Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, a seven-time felon who has been deported to Mexico five times, is accused of murdering Steinle. Lopez-Sanchez has admitted to firing the shot that killed Steinle, though he claims he did so by accident.

In March 2015, Lopez-Sanchez was transported from ICE custody to the San Francisco jail on 20-year-old drug charges. Prosecutors then dropped the charges, and the San Francisco Sheriff’s Department released Lopez-Sanchez, despite receiving a detainer request from ICE.

San Francisco is a sanctuary city with a policy of not turning over inmates to ICE. Also in March 2015, Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi issued a memo barring jail staff from communicating with immigration officials about detainer requests.

In its lawsuit, the Steinle family alleged Mirkarimi violated federal laws by issuing the memo.

But, United States District Court Judge Joseph Spero ruled Mirkarimi did not violate state or federal laws by doing so. Spero also ruled neither the sheriff’s department, nor ICE mishandled custody arrangements for Lopez-Sanchez.

However, the judge also stated in his ruling that the federal government was negligent in the Steinle killing because of the actions of the BLM officer.

The officer left a loaded gun in a backpack on the seat of an unattended vehicle in San Francisco. That created foreseeable risk, Spero wrote.

“The BLM ranger therefore had a duty to better secure his handgun against theft,” the Spero stated.







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13 Comments

  1. Rambunctious says:

    And to add insult to injury our governor is using tax dollars of the Steinle family and all of us other tax paying citizens to hire Mr. Holder to defend this sanctuary city nonsense. Mr. Holder a man held in contempt by congress.

    (5) 5 Total Votes - 5 up - 0 down
  2. Mariposa says:

    Extremely distressing that *this* is what it has come to in our once revered state of California. I am a 3rd generation Californian but am not proud of that.

    (19) 19 Total Votes - 19 up - 0 down
  3. c.d.cox says:

    rOy the x head cop ln Paso is one that will leave an unregistered loaded had gun in an unlocked car on the street at night. Remember the law is above the law.

    (10) 10 Total Votes - 10 up - 0 down
  4. nunsense says:

    so Arizona enforcing US law is told that’s the job of the feds and hands off, but actively state you won’t follow federal law and that’s ok and have no liability? very sad.

    (10) 18 Total Votes - 14 up - 4 down
  5. Pelican1 says:

    Here is yet another clear case of no accountability on behalf of our government. A young, innocent woman was murdered as the direct result of dereliction of duty by government officials.

    (19) 19 Total Votes - 19 up - 0 down
  6. Jorge Estrada says:

    A very sad loss of life and a very sad search for taxpayer funded mitigation money. Does sanctuary mean taxpayer liability?

    (8) 22 Total Votes - 15 up - 7 down
  7. r0y says:

    Of course the looney-left SF judge “allows” the charge against the BLM, for it was the EEEEVVVILLL gun that did the killing, not the complete and total failure of the Sheriff’s Department for ignoring ICE and letting the dirt-bag go for yet another time.

    Why am I not surprised that the government finds themselves innocent of all negligence…

    (35) 53 Total Votes - 44 up - 9 down
  8. slojustice says:

    Our government is failing us on so many levels in California. Democrats are ripping apart this once great state. Shame on San Francisco!

    (47) 63 Total Votes - 55 up - 8 down
  9. rukidding says:

    The BLM Ranger is a victim of a crime while everyone else has done everything possible to support the murderer. Where have we gone?

    (39) 55 Total Votes - 47 up - 8 down
    • r0y says:

      While I strongly disagree with this “judge’s” ruling, I do not see the BLM Ranger as a victim of a crime, but TOTALLY liable, along with the Sheriff’s Dept. Who the HELL leaves a LOADED firearm unattended in an unsecured location? Even a locked car is NOT a secured location, at least not enough to be left unattended.

      I do agree with you about everyone seems to be supporting the multiple-offending illegal alien murderer. It is shocking how far gone one has to be to see that guy as anything but the dirt-ball that he is.

      (31) 35 Total Votes - 33 up - 2 down

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