San Francisco city workers on Saturday removed a memorial to Kate Steinle that a white nationalist group had helped set up after a jury acquitted her alleged killer of murder and manslaughter charges.
The Steinle family, who has expressed concern about their daughter’s death being politicized, asked Mayor Ed Lee to remove the memorial in the morning.
“The Steinle family placed a request with the Mayor’s Office for the bench to remain as it was intended — a simple memorial in recognition of Kate and her spirit,” mayoral spokesperson Deirdre Hussey said in a statement to the San Francisco Examiner. “However, we do have a city policy in place in regards to active memorials that Public Works enforced.”
On Friday, a California-based group called Identity Evropa made headlines after posting a video on Twitter of its members contributing to the shrine. The group has ties with Richard Spencer and the deadly white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va.
The memorial came after jurors acquitted Jose Ines Garcia Zarate on Thursday of murder and manslaughter charges in the killing of Steinle at Pier 14 on July 1, 2015.
Mourners placed candles and a large photograph of Steinle on a bench dedicated to her at the pier following the verdict. On Saturday morning, all that remained were flowers.
Department of Public Works spokesperson Rachel Gordon said officials made an administrative decision to remove the memorial because it violated policy.
“Whoever put that up didn’t influence what we did, we just followed our procedure,” Gordon said.
Gordon said Public Works removes memorials from city property 10 days after the service for a victim. Steinle’s was held years ago.
Editor’s note: This story has been updated with additional information.
SCOOP: #SF city workers remove memorial to #KateSteinle at Pier 14 after white nationalist group contributes to shrine. DPW spokesperson: “Whoever put that up didn’t influence what we did, we just followed our procedure.” Story to come pic.twitter.com/7FUMCOGR4H
— Michael Barba (@mdbarba) December 2, 2017