It's only strike one against LAPD, but that was one impressive whiff
Nothing goes simply when it involves the Dodgers these days. Not on the field, not with ownership, not in the courtroom and not with the Los Angeles Police Department.
In the end, all that matters is that the LAPD arrests the two men who savagely beat Giants fan Bryan Stow on opening day at Dodger Stadium and that it leads to a just conviction.
What doesn’t matter are grandstanding, self-congratulatory news conferences, particularly when you’ve arrested the wrong guy.
LAPD Chief Charlie Beck has been quiet since the Thursday arrest of two new suspects in the Stow beating and announcement they had determined that the suspect arrested in May was not involved in the attack.
Of course, it’s hard to stand next to the mayor before all those TV cameras at a Dodger Stadium news conference and thump your chest with a black eye and red face.
This time Beck and the LAPD appear to be moving almost stealth-like. Little has come out since the Thursday arrest, which, given the embarrassment of the first arrest, seems prudent.
This was a high-profile case from the beginning, which Beck and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa clearly seemed to recognize with those grandiose press conferences. Certainly, there was plenty of public and political pressure. And it’s not an easy case, which you would assume meant everyone was moving forward diligently.
Yet even after the May arrest of suspect Giovanni Ramirez continued to be called into question, Beck remained adamant that the police had the right man. Beck said he was ``absolutely confident’’ they had the primary suspect and would present his case to prosecutors "in the near future." That was in May. Guess prosecutors weren’t too impressed. Ramirez was nailed on a parole violation and dropped as a Stow suspect.
Now there are two more suspects. And for the moment, all LAPD lips are sealed. There will, of course, be more explanatory news conferences to come, though the tone figures to be a tad more modest. They'll probably skip the high-fives.
Villaraigosa briefly fumbled away his through a defense of how the LAPD has pursued the Stow case, but as Joe Friday used to say, just give us the facts. The Stow family, the LAPD, the Dodgers, Frank McCourt, Beck and Villaraigosa all want the same thing here -- justice.
It would be nice if it arrived simply, but simple and the Dodgers remain perfect strangers.
-- Steve Dilbeck
Photo: Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck. Credit: Jason Redmond.