The family of Kate Steinle slapped federal officials and San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi with a lawsuit on Tuesday.
They say that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and the sheriff must take responsibility for their daughter’s July 1 death, after the man charged with her murder along a popular waterfront had been deported five times.
“We’re here to make sure that a change is made so nobody has to endure the pain that my mom and dad and I go through on a daily basis,” Brad Steinle, Kate’s brother, said Tuesday, ABC News reported. “The system failed our sister, and at this point nobody has taken responsibility, accountability. And nothing has changed.”
Juan Francisco Lopez Sanchez, 45, has pleaded not guilty to Steinle’s killing. His criminal record also includes multiple felony convictions for narcotics charges.
“It’s too late for us, that ship has sailed. But we want it for future, possible victims,” Liz Sullivan, Kate’s mother, told a local ABC affiliate.
ICE had turned Sanchez over to San Francisco authorities earlier in the year due to an outstanding drug warrant, but he was not returned upon his release from custody. The gun used to kill Steinle was stolen from a BLM agent’s car on June 27.
San Francisco is one of a number of “sanctuary cities” across the U.S. that does not pressure its local officials to abide by federal immigration laws. Sarah Saldana, director of ICE, said in July that U.S. officials released more than 66,000 criminal immigrants between 2013-2014, CNN reported.