A Dallas police officer was arrested Thursday and charged with two counts of murder for his alleged role in the 2017 kidnapping and murder of two people, Lisa Saenz, 31, and Albert Douglas, 61. The officer, Bryan Riser, faces the death penalty if convicted.
Riser, who had been on the force since 2008, was fingered as the mastermind of two separate, unrelated kidnapping and murder plots in 2017 by an unidentified man who claimed in 2019 that he actually carried out the killings at Riser's direction. Three men were arrested and charged with Saenz's murder in 2017, but Douglas' body has not yet been found.
The Dallas Police Department identified Riser as a person of interest in connection with both deaths in 2019 and sought to enlist the help of the FBI to further investigate the crimes. However, there was not enough evidence available at the time to arrest him. As a result, Riser was permitted to continue to patrol the streets of Dallas for over a year while being investigated for murder.
Police Chief Eddie Garcia said at a news conference announcing Riser's arrest that the department is reviewing all of Riser's arrests since the investigation began, just to make sure "there is nothing more there."
Garcia also said that Riser had a relationship with at least one of his alleged victims, but did not otherwise specify or characterize the nature of that relationship.
Due to police union rules, even though Riser is currently in custody, he has not yet been terminated from the force, but Garcia promised that steps will be taken to expedite his termination, saying, "This individual has no business wearing this uniform ... no one hates a bad cop more than a good cop."
Incredibly, this is Riser's second arrest since he joined the Dallas Police Department. Riser was arrested in 2017 and charged with "Assault Family Violence – Bodily Injury," a misdemeanor. At that time he was placed on administrative leave subject to an internal affairs investigation, which ultimately ended with him being allowed to return to the force.