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Donald Trump speaks in Las Vegas last week. (Photo: John Locher/AP)
The brother of Kate Steinle — the 32-year-old woman who was killed in a random shooting in San Francisco earlier this month — says Donald Trump is sensationalizing his sister’s death to score political points.
“If you’re going to use somebody’s name and you’re going to sensationalize the death of a beautiful young lady,” Brad Steinle told CNN’s Anderson Cooper in an interview that aired Tuesday night, “maybe you should call and talk to the family first and see what their views are.”
Kate Steinle was killed on July 1 while walking on a San Francisco pier. Her death sparked a national debate on immigration because her alleged killer, 45-year-old Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, is an undocumented Mexican immigrant who had been deported five times for multiple felonies. Sanchez told a local television station he chose to live in San Francisco because of its so-called sanctuary laws, which allow the city to opt out of cooperating with federal immigration authorities on deportation efforts.
Two days after Steinle was killed, Trump said her slaying was “yet another example of why we must secure our border.”
“Donald Trump talks about Kate Steinle like he knows her,” Brad Steinle said Tuesday. “I’ve never heard a word from his campaign manager, never heard a word from him. It’s disconcerting, and I don’t want to be affiliated with somebody who doesn’t have the common courtesy to reach out and ask about Kate and ask about our political views and what we want. The platform that he is setting isn’t exactly what our family believes in.”
Steinle’s parents have also criticized those they believe have politicized their daughter’s death.
“Our daughter is gone forever” Steinle’s mother, Liz Sullivan, told the San Francisco Chronicle earlier this month. “It’s a terrible travesty, and we lost our daughter. … Everybody is trying to put the political spin on it, but it happened, and there’s no taking it back.“
Earlier this week, the family went on Fox News to promote Kate’s Law, a proposal that would mandate a five-year jail sentence for anyone caught reentering the United States after being deported for committing a felony.
“I had no idea how many people had been killed by illegal aliens,” Sullivan told Bill O’Reilly. “We had no idea it was an issue. But something definitely needs to be done.”
“What happened to Kate was evil personified,” Jim Steinle, her father, added. “But her bright light … has helped us and shown people around the world that with this law that goodness trumps evil.”
(Cover tile photo: Charlie Leight/Getty)