THE VIEW FROM HERE - Because early news reports always have errors, one should not accept early news reports at face value.
The reason has nothing to do with “fake news,” but rather the public has a rush to judgment mentality. The heart rate quickens, the perceptions sharpen upon hearing “Breaking News” and “latest update on Arroyos’ murder.” As the motto goes, “When it bleeds, it leads.” The media outlet with the least blood gets the lowest ratings. Also, in the beginning facts are scarce and assumptions abound. What seems open and shut can be 100% wrong.
When people begin to ask questions, roadblocks are likely to be thrown up. Some are legitimate. Divulging certain information too soon could tip off the “bad guys” or can endanger witnesses. On the other hand, certain vested interests may want the narrative of the events to distort the reality. Heroes must remain heroes and villains may have no redeeming features. Let’s ask some questions.
Who Are the Defendants?
Luis Alfredo De La Rosa Rios, 29, Ernesto Cisneros, 22, and Jesse Contreras, 34, all are allegedly members of the Florence 13 or F-13 gang, and Rio's alleged girlfriend Haylee Marie Grisham, 18. F-13 is allegedly overseen by the Mexican Mafia. Despite their ages, none of the four had felony arrests. Contreras is 34. From misdemeanor to first degree murder is a big jump.
Why Did the F-13 Shoot Office Arroyos?
Although we are past early news stories, the various public narratives are silent on this crucial fact.
Four days after the shooting on Friday, January 14, 2022, CNN describes the events as follows: “Arroyos was house-hunting on Monday with his girlfriend when a black pickup truck drove up. Rios and Cisneros pointed guns at Arroyos and his girlfriend and removed items from both, including chains from Arroyos' neck. ¶ There was an exchange of gunfire between Arroyos and the two suspects, after which Arroyos collapsed and the two suspects fled.”
According to Daily Mail on Saturday, January 15, 2022, “The officer [Arroyos] yelled for his girlfriend to leave to run to go back to the car,” before exchanging gunfire with the suspects.
According to KCBS News on Friday, January 14, 2022, after his arrest Luis Rios admitted to the Sheriff’s detectives that the four of them had been driving around looking for someone to rob in order to “make money.” Rios confession was in an FBI affidavit about what Rios told the sheriffs. Query: Why didn’t the sheriff make the affidavit? Maybe KCBS misidentified who made the affidavit.
MSN News on Friday, January 14, 2022 relates that Rios was driving the truck, when Cisneros sees Arroyos’ chain and tells Rios to get the chain and while pointing a gun at Arroyos tells him to give Rios the chain. Then, there are gun shots and Rios runs back to the truck (MSN says “back to car.”) On January 13th, ABC News, however, reports that Contreras told Rios to get the chains.
(The similarity between these gang members and LA Probate-Conservatorship court is remarkable. A judge sees something he’d like such as a widow’s fat pension and he tells the court appointed conservator to go get it.)
KNBC more cryptically states: “At some point after Cisneros removed (Arroyos’) chains, (Arroyos) and the two suspects exchanged gunfire.”
ABC News states, “A bullet grazed Rios' ribcage and Cisneros appeared to have broken his leg.” Later, surveillance camera at another location see Contreras helping Cisneros out of the truck.
So, why did Rios shoot Arroyos after Rios had the chains? They were out to make money. It seems they planned more robberies for the evening. Why shoot the first victim?
F-13 gang is allegedly controlled by the Mexican Mafia. F-13's area is Florence-Firestone and its members are primarily Mexican American. Arroyos is not Mexican American. Although Arroyos was born in Los Angeles, his parents are from El Salvador. While all Hispanics may appear to be fungible quantities to Anglos, Mexican-Americans are adept at distinguishing different Hispanics. Arroyos also looks slightly African and F-13 is known for killing Blacks solely on the basis of race. Also, many Mexicans dislike Salvadorans. Thus, one should be open to the possibility that Arroyos’ murder was merits a hate crime enhancement. Did Arroyos give the wrong answer to “De donde?”
Did Rios or Cisneros shoot Arroyos because they recognized him as an LAPD officer? Arroyos, however, was assigned to Olympic Patrol Division which is about 8 to 10 miles north of Beach and 87th Street in the Florence-Firestone area. Arroyos was reportedly looking at homes outside his patrol area where he would not encounter gangs from the Olympic Division.
On the other hand, did Arroyos initiate the gun fire? Because both Rios and Cisneros were hit by gun fire, it seems likely that Arroyos caught them by surprise by his shooting first.
None of the articles answer the question: Who shot first and why?
Even if Arroyos shot first, that would not invalidate the Felony Murder Rule. Nonetheless, for the public to understand exactly what happened, we need to know all the facts. Something turned a robbery into a murder. What was it?
The Suspects are Quite Talkative
The media asserts that the Mexican Mafia controls or oversees F-13 and like other mafias, it has a code of silence. Yet, these suspects are a chatty lot. January 14, 2022, San Bernardino Sun, Slain LAPD Officer Came Home to Protect His Community, by Brian Rokos
These gang members are telling the police who said what, who was driving, who got out of the truck, who demanded the chains, that they’re part of the Mexican Mafia and have to pay taxes to it. One the other hand, the media could be conflating their own ideas about how the Mafia functions with what the defendants have actually said.
The Point for Us Readers Is: Question What We Read
The news reports have serious errors and omissions, which may be intentional or due to lack of information. The information could be slanted by the publication’s politics or a desire to be politically correct. As readers, however, we need to demand higher standards.
(Richard Lee Abrams has been an attorney, a Realtor and community relations consultant as well as a CityWatch contributor. The views expressed herein are his own and do not necessarily reflect the views of CityWatch. You may email him at RickLeeAbrams@Gmail.com)