San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi has deflected blame in the release of a Mexican national now facing murder charges in the Pier 14 slaying by demanding to know why federal authorities returned him to San Francisco to face a 20-year-old marijuana charge in the first place.
The answer, it turns out, is that the Sheriff’s Department asked federal officials to do so.
Mirkarimi’s agency requested custody of Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez as he was completing a 46-month stint in federal prison in March in San Bernardino County, according to a Sheriff’s Department letter obtained by The Chronicle. Lopez-Sanchez had been deported five times to Mexico and had been imprisoned for illegally re-entering the U.S.
Sanchez was released by the Sheriff's Department in March of this year. Four months later, he shot and killed Kate Steinle.
Sheriff Mirkarimi said in an interview with CNN earlier this week that he believes sanctuary city policies keep San Francisco citizens safe and said it's proper to keep those policies in place.