Dallas police officer charged with arranging two killings

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DALLAS – 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 that he kidnapped and killed two people at the officer's instruction in 2017, authorities said.

Bryan Riser, a 13-year veteran of the force, was arrested Thursday morning and taken to the Dallas County jail for processing, according to a statement from the police department. Jail records show Riser is held without bond pending an appearance before a judge, but do not list an attorney for him.

Riser was arrested in the unconnected killings of Liza Saenz, 31, and Albert Douglas, 61, after a man came forward in August 2019 and told police he had kidnapped and killed them at Riser's direction, police Chief Eddie Garcia said during a news conference. He said investigators don't know the motives for the killings, but that they were not related 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 subsequent questions about the timing. Riser joined the department in 2008, and Garcia acknowledged that he had been patrolling Dallas while under investigation for the killings.

The chief stressed that his homicide division and the FBI were still investigating 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 several bullet wounds, the chief said. Douglas was reported missing that year and his body hasn’t been found.

Three men were charged with capital murder in the killing of Saenz: Kevin Kidd, Emmanuel Kilpatrick and Jermon Simmons. Kilpatrick is serving life in prison for the killings of a father and son. Kidd and Simmons remain in Dallas County jail on capital murder charges stemming from the killings of Saenz and the father and son. Simmons is also charged in another death.

One of the men charged with Saenz’s killing told police that he and Riser were involved in burglaries when they were young, according to an affidavit for Riser’s arrest. It does not identify the man by name.