A Dallas police officer was arrested Thursday on two counts of capital murder, more than a year and a half after a man told investigators he kidnapped and killed two people on the officer’s instructions in 2017, the officials said. authorities.
Bryan Riser, a 13-year veteran of the force, was arrested Thursday morning and taken to the Dallas County Jail for prosecution, according to a police department statement. An attorney for Riser could not be immediately identified.
Riser was arrested for the unrelated murders of Liza Sáenz, 31, and Albert Douglas, 61, after a man showed up in August 2019 and told police that he had kidnapped and killed them on Riser’s orders. said Police Chief Eddie Garcia during a news conference. He said investigators do not know the motives for the killings, but said they were unrelated to Riser’s police work.
Garcia did not explain why Riser was arrested nearly 20 months after the witness came forward, and police declined to answer further questions about the timing. Riser joined the department in 2008 and Garcia acknowledged that he had been patrolling Dallas while under investigation for the murders.
The chief emphasized that his homicide division and the FBI were still investigating the killings and said the department was reviewing Riser’s arrests.
Saenz’s body was pulled from the Trinity River in southwest Dallas on March 10, 2017, with multiple gunshot wounds, the chief said. Douglas was reported missing that year and his body has not been found.
Three people were previously arrested and charged with capital murder for Saenz’s murder, according to an affidavit from Riser’s arrest. He does not identify any of them by name.
One of them allegedly told police that he and Riser were involved in robberies when they were young. More recently, they hatched a plan to rob drug caches, but did not follow through, according to the affidavit.
Instead, the man told investigators that Riser offered to pay him a total of $ 9,500 to kidnap and kill Douglas and later Saenz. Both were shot and their bodies were thrown into the river, according to court records.
The affidavit states that Riser told the hitman that Saenz was an “informant.” The document does not provide further details and the police declined to answer questions about whether Saenz had any connection to the department.
The murder charges are not the officer’s first alleged crimes. In May 2017, Riser faced a domestic violence charge for allegedly assaulting and injuring an ex-girlfriend. It was not immediately clear how that case was resolved. Police said Riser “received a summary penalty for an incident.”
Riser has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of an internal affairs investigation. García said that “we are going to accelerate our process” towards his dismissal.
“We will not allow anyone to tarnish this insignia,” said the chief.
Riser had not been booked into jail as of Thursday afternoon, a sheriff’s spokesman said.
A spokeswoman for the Dallas County district attorney’s office said her office had no information about the case.