Spinning The Ricochet: Brief Commentary On The Steinle Verdict For Teachers


Jose Ines Garcia Zarate

“Trump campaigned significantly using Garcia Zarate as a scapegoat in 2016.” — one of the author’s home schooled teens

This article is important because it underscores what’s wrong with teachers using the usual news sources that respected academics recommend for classrooms throughout the United States. The dynamics related to all that impact on the entire world when it comes to the major issues of our day.

The Department of Justice is considering leveling charges against Jose Ines Garcia Zarate, the illegal immigrant who was just acquitted of murder Kate Steinle in San Francisco. Immediately following the unpopular verdict, President Trump weighed in with his two cents, attempting to bolster his immigration stance and position vis-a-vis Sanctuary Cities such as The City by the Bay. And citizens of Kate’s hometown of Pleasanton, California expressed outrage almost to a one.

But all of the uproar against the verdict has neglected the fact that the shooting was — clearly — an accident, not intentional, not deserving of a first or second degree murder or manslaughter charges. The trial has been going on since 2015, but I just learned that the bullet which killed Kate ricocheted into her, that Jose did not aim at her, that the defendant did not even recklessly wave the gun he held around on the pier that fateful night.

Look at the excerpt below from one of the news reports cited above:

Lawyers for Garcia Zarate say the ricochet shows the shooting was accidental. Evans, who later retired from the department, said investigators had overlooked the strike mark on the night the 32-year-old Steinle was killed. Authorities returned to the popular pier four days later, after the bullet was found to be partially flattened, indicating it had ricocheted, he said. Evans also testified that inexperienced shooters are often shaky and fire in haste, causing the barrel of the gun to point downward. He called it “jerking the trigger.”

Defense lawyer Matt Gonzalez called that aspect of Evans’ analysis “highly speculative,” and the two wrangled over whether the shot had traveled straight, which would support the prosecution’s contention that Garcia Zarate aimed the gun before firing.

Note the attempt to explain away the ricochet with the predictable prosecutor’s spin; former policeman Evans seems to have welcomed an opportunity to support the prosecutor’s angle of vision in lieu of being honest about the bullet’s angle of entry, its trajectory.

Part of the outrage on the part of the general public is a function of the mainstream media reports committing a great sin of omission for almost two years with regard to that ricochet. Their investigative reporting seems to have bounced off of very questionable sources in the main; they followed the line that the police were pursuing before Matt Gonzalez forced law enforcement to consider facts on the pier four days following the accidental shooting.

Very little mention was made, if any at all, during all of the reporting about the source of the gun, the irresponsibility demonstrated from other quarters. See the spotlight afforded by Wikipedia long after the sorrowful unfolding of events:

“The gun used in the shooting was confirmed by forensic crime laboratory technicians to be the same one stolen from a federal agent’s car. The .40-caliber handgun had been taken from a U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) ranger’s car that was parked in downtown San Francisco, on June 27, 2015.[56] The ranger was in San Francisco for an official government business trip. The ranger immediately reported the theft to San Francisco police, as well as the Federal Bureau of Investigation‘s National Crime Information Center.  Police issued a citywide crime alert but did not call in CSI technicians to examine the scene.[21]One ballistics expert testified on behalf of Garcia Zarate that the shot was fired accidentally and ricocheted off the pavement before traveling another 90–95 feet (28–29 m) and striking Steinle.[57]” 

Why is there no word printed or spoken about the irresponsibility of the BLM ranger? 

How come there’s virtually zero news respecting BLM gun-in-vehicle protocol.

And nothing in depth regarding the past history of BLM-related gun losses. There have been many, I’m told.

Look at all of the links I’ve provided here. Nowhere will you glean a clue as to what the ranger’s responsibility is.

Now for my punchline: How do you think most teachers would handle this particular current event? How should they?



Valeria Ruselli is a member of the Oxman Collective. She can be reached at [email protected]. And she would welcome “lesson plans” for addressing the issues embedded here.

Support Countercurrents

Countercurrents is answerable only to our readers. Support honest journalism because we have no PLANET B.
Become a Patron at Patreon

Join Our Newsletter


Join our WhatsApp and Telegram Channels

Get CounterCurrents updates on our WhatsApp and Telegram Channels

Related Posts

Join Our Newsletter

Annual Subscription

Join Countercurrents Annual Fund Raising Campaign and help us

Latest News