Most people know the story by now. In July of 2015, Kate Steinle and her father were taking a walk on a San Francisco pier. She was shot by an illegal immigrant, Garcia Zarate, who killed her. Zarate had been deported several times before, and many argued that Steinle would have been still be living if San Francisco wasn’t a sanctuary city. Many on the right used Zarate as an example of the dangers of undocumented immigrants, while many on the left pointed out that Zarate didn’t, in any way, represent all undocumented immigrants.
As the Los Angeles Times reports, Zarate was acquitted of murder and manslaughter charges on Thursday in Kate’s murder. Jurors deliberated for several days before only convicting Zarate on a single count of being a felon in possession of a firearm. Naturally, many on the right (and some on the left) were outraged. As CNN reports, President Trump called the Steinle verdict a “travesty of justice.”
“The Kate Steinle killer came back and back over the weakly protected Obama border, always committing crimes and being violent, and yet this info was not used in court. His exoneration is a complete travesty of justice. BUILD THE WALL!” Trump tweeted.
Since the verdict, the concept of white privilege has been debated by (mostly) the right on Twitter. They believe that the Kate Steinle verdict is another example of why the concept of white privilege isn’t valid. There is a belief that if Steinle was a woman of color, there would be protests, marches, etc. There are some who believe that Steinle’s death is acceptable just because she’s white.
However, many on the left are using the verdict to show how Donald Trump is misguided. The Los Angeles Times simply says that Trump and the jury saw two different trials. After listing the most insulting things Donald Trump said about Zarate, the writer, Joe Mozingo, points out that the actual case, which was whether or not Zarate had intentionally shot Steinle, had nothing to do with Zarate’s immigration status. However, many disagree, especially since they think the fact Zarate was an illegal immigrant who was deported several times should have influenced the case no matter what.
NBC says that regardless of politics, the case was based on reasonable doubt. At the end of the article, they quote somebody saying that although people may be disappointed, this is the “rule of law.” However, many on the right argue that if that is the case, why didn’t left-leaning outlets say that when verdicts on the Trayvon Martin or Michael Brown cases didn’t end in the way the left had wanted.
While the left and right are debating on who or who doesn’t have privilege, the fact remains that Kate Steinle is still dead. And according to the San Francisco Chronicle, Steinle’s family thought the trial would bring about one wish — to mark the end of a public profile they neither sought or enjoyed. Unfortunately, the trial might have ended, but Steinle family’s main wish will not be answered anytime soon.