A Dallas police officer is facing two counts of capital murder for ordering the slayings of a man and a woman in 2017, authorities said.
Officer Bryan Riser, 36, was arrested Thursday in the unrelated slayings of Liza Saenz, 31, and Albert Douglas, 60, after one of the men charged in Saenz’s death told investigators he kidnapped and killed them at the officer’s direction, Police Chief Eddie Garcia told reporters at a news conference.
The motive for the slayings was unknown, but Garcia said they were not connected to Riser’s work as a police officer. The chief also acknowledged that Riser, a 13-year veteran, was allowed to keep patrolling Dallas streets while named as a person of interest in the slayings in August 2019.
Riser had a relationship with at least one of the victims, but Garcia did not elaborate. Investigators are now reviewing his activity and arrests while on the job, according to the chief, who said department officials are looking to “expedite” the cop’s termination.
“This individual has no business wearing this uniform,” Garcia said. “And that’s not just me as police chief, I guarantee you every man and woman that wears this uniform and does the job honorably does not want anyone tarnishing our badge.”
The city’s former top cop, U. Renee Hall, told the Dallas Morning News that she was briefed in 2019 that Riser was a “person of interest” in the slayings, but a decision was made not to put him on administrative leave to avoid tipping him off to the probe.
“Doing anything different, we may not have been able to bring justice to the families today,” Hall, who left the department late last year, told the newspaper.
One of three men charged in Saenz’s killing – Kevin Kidd, Emmanuel Kilpatrick and Jermon Simmons – told investigators that Riser was involved in both slayings, his arrest warrant shows.
The affidavit, which doesn’t identify the man, said he told cops he knew Riser from childhood and that they reconnected in 2013. Riser then asked the man if he was still committing robberies and burglaries as they did while younger, according to the affidavit.
Riser hatched a plan for them to rob drug stash houses, but it never materialized. The man said Riser instead offered him $3,500 to kidnap and kill Douglas, who was reported missing in February 2017. His body has not been found, police said.
Riser then asked the man several weeks later to kidnap and kill Saenz, who the cop said was an informant, the affidavit states.
Boaters found the woman’s bullet-riddled body in the Trinity River on March 10, 2017, the Dallas Morning News reports. The man who implicated Riser in both slayings said he and an associate killed Douglas and dumped his body in the same river, the affidavit states.
Riser remained held Friday on $5 million bond at the Dallas County Jail following a court appearance late Thursday. Court records did not list an attorney for Riser, who said he planned to hire one.
With Post wires