Dallas police officer allowed to patrol for more than a year while being investigated over two murders
The former police chief of Dallas, Renee Hall, told The Dallas Morning News that the department allowed officer Bryan Riser to continue his normal patrolling while an investigation was underway to determine whether or not he ordered the killings of two people.
Ms Hall told the paper that it was necessary to keep him on the streets in order to avoid alerting him to the ongoing investigation.
“Doing anything different, we may not have been able to bring justice to the families,” she said.
Mr Riser, 36, was arrested on Thursday on two counts of capital murder and is being held on a $5m bond.
According to the city’s new police chief, Eddie Garcia, police became aware of the situation in 2019 after someone came forward and told them that Mr Riser kidnapped and killed two people in separate attacks in 2017.
The victims of the attacks were 31-year-old Liza Saenz and 61-year-old Albert Douglas. A motive for the killings has not been released, but investigators do not believe they were tied to Mr Riser’s police work.
Both victims were shot and their bodies were dumped in the Trinity River. Ms Saenz’s body was eventually recovered, while Mr Douglas’s was not.
In addition to Mr Riser, three men were charged with capital murder in Ms Saenz’s case. Kevin Kidd, Emmanuel Kilpatrick and Jermon Simmons were charged. Mr Kilpatrick is already serving life in prison for the killing of a father and a son. Mr Kidd and Mr Simmons are in Dallas County jail for killing Saenz and the father and son. Mr Simmons is also facing charges for another death.
According to an affidavit regarding Mr Riser’s arrest, one of the other men charged in the killings said they had conducted burglaries with Mr Riser when they were younger. The individual is not named in the affidavit.
The individual in the affidavit said he and Mr Riser had more recently planned to rob a drug stash house, but decided not to follow through with it. Instead, Mr Riser allegedly offered the man $9,500 to kidnap and kill Mr Douglas and later Ms Saenz.
According to the affidavit, Mr Riser ordered Ms Saenz’s killing because she was “an informant” though the police department did not offer further comment on whether or not the woman was working with the department.
Mr Riser is currently on administrative leave, but Mr Garcia said he intended to expedite the process of firing him.
Mr Garcia did not explain what prompted Mr Riser’s arrest.
With reporting by the Associated Press
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