Get SF Weekly Newsletters

Friday, June 8, 2012

Bryan Stow: Why His Alleged Attackers Wear Dodger Blue Jail Garb

Posted By on Fri, Jun 8, 2012 at 1:45 PM

Marvin Norwood in a different type of Dodger blue outfit - LOS ANGELES TIMES, VIA FACEBOOK
  • Los Angeles Times, via Facebook
  • Marvin Norwood in a different type of Dodger blue outfit

Today a Los Angeles judge ordered a trial for Louie Sanchez and Marvin Norwood, the men accused of beating Giants fan Bryan Stow so severely he'll need full-time assistance for the rest of his days.

As we noted earlier, there's not much clever or funny to wring out of the violent Dodger Stadium parking lot attack. But there is this: Accused overzealous fans Sanchez and Norwood are dressed in jail garb that is unmistakably Dodger blue. And now they may be wearing it much more often. 

It turns out Dodger blue is the color every Los Angeles prisoner in the "general population" is clothed in. L.A. County has seven different jails filled with more than 18,000 prisoners -- and nearly that many color combinations, based on who you are and what needs to be known about you.

Here's the L.A. jail color wheel, per Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department spokesman Steve Whitmore:

Dark Blue: general population. This comprises the vast majority of prisoners in lockup.

Red: a "high-power inmate." This would be "a gang member or someone in the Mexican mafia," Whitmore says. "People who need to be kept separate. People with the ability to affect others -- if you have someone who is a significantly well-known gang member who could influence to do stuff or his very presence could cause a disturbance with other inmates. A VIP prisoner, in other words. Whitmore is uncertain how the term "high-power" was coined. Also, "sexually violent predators" will be clothed in red.

Light green: This is the uniform for a "trustee," a prisoner who has proven he can be trusted and is given jobs where he will be less supervised than the Dodger-blue general population.

White: a kitchen trustee.

Brown: A prisoner in a medical area will wear this color uniform.

Yellow shirt, blue pants: In L.A. County jails, UCLA colors seem to be reserved for prisoners with mental conditions.

Yellow: Inmate workers who have jobs that take them outside the eyes of security -- such as cleaning up or taking out trash -- wear this color.

Orange: In San Francisco, prisoners wear this color -- which means our jail's general population wears the local baseball team's primary color, too. In L.A., however, orange signifies a prisoner with a physical impairment.

Orange shirt, dark blue pants: This signifies a deaf or blind prisoner.

It would seem Los Angeles' prisoners are the nation's most fashion-conscious. The Dodger-blue garb worn by most is certainly more fashion forward than traffic-cone orange. But Whitmore notes it has nothing to do with an affinity for L.A.'s Major League squad.

Follow us on Twitter at @SFWeekly and @TheSnitchSF

  • Pin It

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed

Like us on Facebook


  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"