The family of a woman fatally shot on San Francisco's waterfront in July filed wrongful death claims Tuesday against San Francisco and federal officials.
The family of Kate Steinle gathered with attorney Frank Pitre on the steps of San Francisco City Hall to announce the legal claims, which are often precursors to lawsuits.
Steinle was fatally shot on July 1 while walking with family members on Pier 14 in broad daylight. Within an hour of the shooting, police arrested Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, an undocumented immigrant who had been deported five times and has seven prior felony convictions.
The shooting and arrest have spurred a national debate on San Francisco's sanctuary city policy, which limits cooperation between local law enforcement and federal immigration authorities.
Pierre said San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi "made himself the king, judge and jury" when it came to the city's cooperation with federal authorities.
The gun used in the shooting belonged to a Bureau of Land Management ranger who had it stolen from his car in San Francisco.
Pitre said that the gun was left in his car against mandatory regulations for federal employees.
Sheriff Mirkarimi, who has borne the brunt of the criticism following the incident, has argued that cooperating with the ICE request would have violated San Francisco's Sanctuary City and Due Process for All policies, as well as the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and Mayor Ed Lee
Monday night, Mirkarimi issued a statement saying that while he "can't comment on potential litigation, he continues to extend his deepest sympathy to the Steinle family for their loss."
In a preliminary hearing last week to determine if Lopez-Sanchez would stand trial for murder experts testified that the bullet that killed Steinle appears to have ricocheted off of something before hitting her, suggesting that she was not the intended target.
That hearing has been continued to tomorrow, Sept. 3.