A Dallas police officer was arrested Thursday and charged with two counts of capital murder after a witness said the officer hired him to kidnap and kill two people, then dump their bodies in a river, authorities said .
Dallas Police said the officer, Bryan Riser, who joined the department in August 2008, was charged with the murders of Albert Douglas, 61, and Liza Saenz, 31, both in 2017.
The town’s police chief, Edgardo Garcia, declined to describe the relationship between the officer and the victims, but said the murders were linked to Constable Riser’s “off-duty driving”, not to his police work.
Nonetheless, Chief Garcia said, the Dallas Police Department will turn to Firefighter Riser and review his conduct on the force and the arrests he made.
“We hire people from the human race, and when we find people like this, it’s the actions we take afterward that should be the judge of us,” said Chief Garcia. “We will hold ourselves accountable at the highest levels.”
It was not immediately clear if Agent Riser had a lawyer. The Dallas Police Association, which represents the city’s officers, declined to comment.
Ms Saenz’s body was found in the Trinity River in Dallas on March 10, 2017. She had been shot several times, police said. In September 2017, three men – Kevin Kidd, 28; Emmanuel Kilpatrick, 31, and Jermon Simmons, 35 – were arrested and charged with killing Ms Saenz, police said.
On August 12, 2019, a prosecutor told Dallas Police that one of the men – who was only identified as a “witness” in court documents – wanted to provide information about the officer’s involvement. Riser into the murder of Ms. Saenz, authorities mentioned.
Two days later, during an interview at Dallas Police Headquarters, the witness implicated Constable Riser in the murders of Ms Saenz and Mr Douglas, whose family had gone missing in February 2017, according to authorities. His body was not found, although the witness told police that Mr Douglas was shot and then dumped in the Trinity River.
The witness said he and Agent Riser had known each other for years and reconnected in 2013 when Agent Riser contacted him and asked if he was’ still doing the things they were doing when they were young, ” such as committing burglaries, the witness said. the police.
The witness said that Officer Riser initially promised to provide him with information about the drug houses if the witness and his crew stole the houses and then kept the drugs and gave the stolen money or weapons to Officer Riser. , police said.
The plan, however, never materialized, the witness said, as Constable Riser then came up with a plan for Mr. Douglas to be kidnapped and killed for $ 3,500, police said.
After discussing the plan in a donut shop and in a park, the witness said Constable Riser drove him to a location where he identified Mr. Douglas as his target, police said.
Several days later, the witness said, he and an associate stopped and handcuffed Mr Douglas, put him in a car and drove him to a location near the Trinity River, police said. Mr Douglas was shot and killed and his body thrown into the river, the witness told police.
About two weeks later, Officer Riser contacted the witness again and told him he would pay her $ 6,000 to kidnap and kill Ms. Saenz, police said. Constable Riser told the witness that she was “an informant,” police said.
Ms Saenz was shot dead and her body was thrown into the river, police said. But the witness never collected the $ 6,000 because he and his associates were arrested in unrelated murders, police said.
Constable Riser was also arrested and charged on May 13, 2017 with assault of domestic violence, a misdemeanor. It was not immediately clear what had happened with this case and how, if it was all linked to the murders. At the time, Agent Riser was placed on administrative leave, pending an internal affairs investigation. Chief Garcia said he could not discuss the details of this case.
The chief admitted that the department allowed Constable Riser to remain on patrol after the witness implicated him in the murders in 2019. But he said “terminology is important.” The chief said a person does not become a “murder suspect” until there is enough information to find the probable cause of their murder.
“I think the community should know that this police department wants to be as thorough as possible because we certainly don’t want someone to fall through the cracks who have no reason to wear this uniform,” said Chief Garcia. “And so he’s a person of interest until he becomes a suspect.” And that’s what the hard work of our homicide detectives and the FBI were trying to do.