Things That Matter

A Jury Has Found Jose Ines Garcia Zarate Not Guilty Of Murder In The Death Of Kate Steinle

The undocumented immigrant from Mexico who was charged with the fatal shooting of a young woman in San Francisco has been acquitted of murder, manslaughter and assault with a firearm by a jury.

On July 1, 2015, 29-year-old Kate Steinle was killed by a gunshot while walking on Pier 41 in San Francisco with her father and a friend. The bullet struck her in the back.

Jose Ines Garcia Zarate, 45, was accused of the deadly shooting, and after a five-week trial and six days of deliberation was only found guilty of being a felon in possession of a firearm.

While Zarate never denied that he fired the gun, he maintained that the death of Steinle was a result of an accidental discharge. He claimed to have found the gun wrapped in cloth, and when he picked it up to inspect it, the weapon went off. According to The New York Times, evidence that exonerated Zarate proved that he did not fire at Steinle directly. Rather, the bullet ricocheted off of an object before striking Steinle, establishing there was no intent to murder.

The case became a major point of then-presidential candidate Donald Trump’s anti-immigration platform, who used Steinle’s death as reasoning to build a border wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

“For anyone that would question the outcome in this case, this jury was deliberating for six days,” Jeff Adachi, the San Francisco public defender, told The New York Times. “There was a tremendous amount of misinformation that was spread about this case from Day 1. You had then-candidate Trump espousing that this was an intentional shooting.”

According to CNN, Zarate’s attorney, Matt Gonzalez, claimed that Zarate found the gun at the pier wrapped in a cloth. It was when he unwrapped the gun that it fired the bullet that hit Steinle.

President Trump took to Twitter when the verdict was delivered, calling it “disgraceful” and using the decision to renew his call for a border wall.

While a sentencing date has not been established, Zarate’s conviction comes with a maximum sentence of three years in prison. He has served more than two years while awaiting trial, though it’s unclear as of yet if that time will be credited to his sentence. CNN reports that Zarate will be deported to Mexico either before of after his sentencing.

(H/T: The New York Times, CNN)


READ: Activists In San Francisco And Los Angeles Stop Traffic To Protest Immigration Raids

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11-Year-Old Boy Steals School Bus, Leads Cops on a 45-Minute High-Speed Chase in Baton Rouge

Things That Matter

11-Year-Old Boy Steals School Bus, Leads Cops on a 45-Minute High-Speed Chase in Baton Rouge

Photo by David L. Ryan/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

On Sunday morning, drivers in Baton Rouge, Louisiana were treated to a sight they definitely don’t see very often: an 11-year-old boy driving a school bus. But it wasn’t just any “ride”; it was an unaccompanied, illegal joy ride.

That’s right, over the weekend, a young Louisiana boy managed to steal a school bus from the local Head Start and take it out for a spin.

He then led police officers on a 45-minute, high-speed chase around Baton Rouge.

@lainetaylor

Only in Louisiana you have a 9 year old kid steal a school bus😂 #batonrouge #Louisiana #diffrentbreed #fypシ #foryou #schoolbus

♬ original sound – Laine Taylor

A TikTok user named @lainetaylor captured the chase on video. As the school bus zoomed down the street, it appeared that around a dozen cop cars were in hot-pursuit of the rogue boy.

Witness Joy Gradney described her first-hand experience to the local WAFB news station, saying, “As he got closer and closer and closer, I saw it’s a little boy in there and he was laughing. He was like giggling on the way across Florida [Ave] as he goes right past me. I’m like, ‘I can’t believe it’s a little boy!'”

According to authorities, the bus was a “push to start” model, so it was easy for the boy to start the vehicle without any keys. As for how he could reach the pedals, that’s a question we’d like an answer to.

Police also claimed that they little boy was flipping them off and taunting them as he drove the stolen school bus.

The chase eventually ended when the bus crashed into a tree. Thankfully, no one was hurt (although three other cars were apparently hit during the chase). The boy was arrested and put in handcuffs.

Libby Smith, the woman whose tree he crashed into, sounded as shocked as anyone when she found out who the bus’s driver was.

“I’m thinking, ‘What in the world is going on?’ And my first thought is that it was a lot of kids on the bus,” she explained to WAFB. “Thank goodness he was okay he was safe, but it was not your typical Sunday afternoon occurrence for sure!”

According to reports, the police charged the boy with “theft of a vehicle, aggravated flight, damage to property and aggravated assault.” We have a feeling he won’t be stealing any more busses any time soon.

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Latina L.A. County Deputy Was Shot In The Face But Saved Her Partner’s Life After A Gunman Ambushed Them

Things That Matter

Latina L.A. County Deputy Was Shot In The Face But Saved Her Partner’s Life After A Gunman Ambushed Them

David McNew / Getty

A shooting that occurred over the weekend in Compton, California has sparked shock, alarm, and outrage.

The shooting occurred sometime around 7 p.m. on Saturday at MLK Transit Center in Compton. According to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, the gunman made his way toward the passenger’s side of the deputies’ car and shot two deputies with a pistol without precedent.

One of the victims is a 31-year-old mother.

On Saturday, the sheriff’s department tweeted surveillance footage of the shooting which also captured the gunman fleeing the scene.

According to reports, the gunman fired into the deputies’ car without pretext.

“This is just a somber reminder that this is a dangerous job, and actions and words have consequences. Our job does not get any easier because people do not like law enforcement,” Alex Villanueva, the 33rd Sheriff of Los Angeles County, said in a statement. “It pisses me off. It dismays me at the same time.”

According to Villanueva, both of the deputies (Claudia Apolinar a 31-year-old mother and a 24-year-old man) were sworn in just 14 months ago and are in critical condition at the hospital. According to the sheriff’s department both are “fighting for their lives” but “it looks like they’re going to be able to recover.”

Apolinar and her partner were both shot at close range. Apolinar was shot in the face and torso and her partner sustained multiple gunshot wounds Seeing that he was in need of immediate medical treatment, Apolinar managed to make a tourniquet for him before medics arrived.

According to the New York Post, Apolinar is a former librarian who graduated from the academy last year.

“We’ll see what the long-term impact is. We don’t know that yet, but they survived the worst,” Villanueva explained.

Local officials have announced a $100,000 reward for information on the gunman and his whereabouts.

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden spoke out against the attack and condemned it in a statement calling “Acts of lawlessness and violence directed against police officers are unacceptable, outrageous, and entirely counterproductive to the pursuit of greater peace and justice in America — as are the actions of those who cheer such attacks on.”

Speaking about the incident, Democratic US Rep. Adam Schiff called the attack “cowardly.”

“Every day, law enforcement officers put themselves at risk to protect our community,” Schiff stated in a post shared to Twitter. “I hope the perpetrator of this cowardly attack can be quickly brought to justice.”

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