This is a developing story and will be updated.
A Dallas police officer was arrested Thursday on two charges of capital murder.
The Dallas Morning News obtained an internal memo from police Chief Eddie García, who told the department that Officer Bryan Riser, 36, was in custody.
He had not yet been booked in to the Dallas County jail Thursday afternoon, according to a Sheriff’s Department spokesman. It was unclear whether he had an attorney.
“This officer’s actions not only tarnished the badge, but it hinders the efforts of those who go out every day to inspire the public confidence and create respect for the law enforcement profession,” García said.
Riser, who joined the department in August 2008, is assigned to the South Central patrol division, according to a news release. He was placed currently on administrative leave pending the outcome of an internal investigation, the department said.
One of the victims, 30-year-old Liza Saenz, was found dead in the Trinity River on in March 2017, García said at a news conference Thursday afternoon. The other victim, Albert Douglas, was kidnapped and killed on Riser’s order, García said.
García said Riser had a relationship with at least one of the victims.
“This individual has no business wearing this uniform,” García said, adding that the department was moving toward Riser’s termination. “I can’t be clearer than that.”
García added that former Dallas police Chief U. Reneé Hall was aware of the allegations.
Hall confirmed to The News that she was briefed in 2019 that Riser was a “person of interest” at the time. But being named a person of interest is not enough to secure a probable cause warrant for arrest, she said.
Hall said a strategic decision was made, with the guidance of federal law enforcement, homicide detectives and the Dallas County district attorney’s office, to not place Riser on administrative leave so that authorities would not compromise the murder investigation. She said telling Riser he was under investigation could have given him a chance to cover his tracks.
She said she credited the work of detectives for the arrest being made today.
“Doing anything different, we may not have been able to bring justice to the families today,” she said.
Boaters found Saenz’s body in the Trinity, near the 200 block of Santa Fe Avenue just south of downtown Dallas, after hearing several gunshots the night of March 10, 2017.
The mother of two was born in Corpus Christi and grew up in Aransas Pass, according to her obituary.
Mary Hodge, Saenz’s mother, said Thursday that she had not learned of Riser’s arrest, noting that she was expecting a call from a detective. Hodge confirmed that Saenz knew Riser, but she was unaware of the extent of their relationship.
Six months after Saenz’s death, in September 2017, three men — Kevin Kidd, Emmanuel Kilpatrick and Jermon Simmons — were arrested on capital murder charges in her death. Police said that an anonymous tipster led them to the suspects.
Kidd at the time told police he met Kilpatrick and Simmons at the river bottom, after Kilpatrick had forced…
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