LAPD chief on Dodgers beating case: 'We can do much better'
Los Angeles Police Department Chief Charlie Beck defended his department's handling of the Bryan Stow beating case but said the chain of events show possibilities for improvement.
In a commentary in The Times, Beck wrote about the initial focus on Giovanni Ramirez as a suspect and then the conclusion that Ramirez was not responsible. The case culminated last week with the arrests of two other suspects.
"Regrettably, Giovanni Ramirez was caught between the state's right to investigate and arrest and the public's right to know what the police are doing," Beck wrote. "We support our arrest because we met our burden of proof and the media support their pursuit of the story."
Beck noted that at the time Ramirez was arrested, the LAPD had "evidence, including eyewitness accounts, that linked Ramirez to Stow's beating."
"That is the state of the game, but we can do much better. We need to not merely abide by the rules but to recognize their shortfalls. I can be more circumspect in my comments, and the media should be more restrained and cautious. The public should remember the rules, so they can respect the rights of those on the field."
Louis Sanchez, 29, and Marvin Norwood, 30, are now charged with assault and mayhem in connection with Stow's beating.
Police said they were able to identify the men based in part on their unruly behavior at the March 31 game and after they bragged to co-workers about their fights. Police sources said they have cellphone records and photos that place the men at the game.
In addition, the men were implicated by Dorene Sanchez, Norwood's wife or long-term partner and Louie Sanchez's sister, the sources said. Dorene Sanchez was arrested as an accessory to the crime, but has not been charged. She appeared before a Los Angeles County grand jury Friday.
Photo: Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, left, and Dodgers senior vice president of public affairs Howard Sunkin, right, listen to Police Chief Charlie Beck speak at a news conference at Dodger Stadium to discuss how a tip led police to an early-morning raid to net a suspect in the Dodger Stadium beating. Credit: Los Angeles Times