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Dallas Police Department Fires Officer Charged With 2 Counts Of Capital Murder

eddie garcia.jpg
Lynda M. González
The Dallas Morning News via AP
Chief Eddie García speaks during a press conference regarding the arrest and capital murder charges against Officer Bryan Riser at the Dallas Police Department headquarters on Thursday, March 4, 2021, in Dallas.

A Dallas police officer arrested for two counts of capital murder has been fired. Police Chief Eddie Garcia announced the news Tuesday afternoon.

Bryan Riser, a 13-year veteran of the force, was arrested Thursday on two counts of capital murder. He was arrested after a man told investigators that he kidnapped and killed two people at the officer’s instruction in 2017, authorities said. A lawyer for him couldn’t immediately be identified.

Riser has the right to appeal the termination.

He 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 more than a year after the witness came forward, and police did not immediately respond to questions about the timing. The chief stressed that his homicide division and the FBI were still investigating.

Saenz’s body was pulled from the Trinity River on March 10, 2017, with several bullet wounds, the chief said. Douglas was reported missing that year and his body hasn’t been found.

Police did not immediately respond to an email asking if the person who implicated Riser in the killings has been charged.

Riser joined the department in 2008 and was working as a patrol officer before his arrest. Garcia acknowledged that Riser had been patrolling Dallas while under investigation for murder and said the department is reviewing his arrests.

Riser has been put on administrative leave pending the outcome of an internal affairs investigation, police said.

“We’re going to expedite our process so this individual is no longer with the department,” Garcia said.

“We will not allow anyone to tarnish this badge,” the chief said, noting that the FBI was assisting in the investigation.

Riser had not been booked into the jail as of early Thursday afternoon, a sheriff’s spokesman said.

A spokeswoman for the Dallas County district attorney’s office said her office didn’t have information on the case.