A Dallas police officer has been arrested for allegedly ordering the kidnapping and murder of two people.
Bryan Riser, who has been with the Dallas Police Department since 2008, now faces two counts of capital murder in connection with the deaths of two victims, 31-year-old Lisa Saenz and 61-year-old Albert Douglas, in 2017. Authorities allege that Riser paid an old friend almost $10,000 to kidnap and kill the two individuals over a period of two months.
“This individual has no business wearing this uniform,” Dallas Police Chief Eddie García said. “I can’t be clearer than that.”
During a Thursday press conference announcing the charges, García said the first murder occurred on March 10, 2017, when Saenz was found fatally shot in Trinity River by four kayakers. Six months later, three men were arrested on capital murder charges for Saenz's death after an anonymous tipster indicated the trio. According to Riser's arrest-warrant affidavit obtained by The Daily Beast, one of those men later told authorities in 2019 that Riser had been involved in Saenz's murder.
That same man, who was not identified in court papers, was allegedly ordered by Riser to kidnap and murder Douglas, who was reported missing in February 2017. Douglas’s body has never been found.
The motives behind these grisly crimes remain unclear, though García did note that Riser knew at least one of the victims and that both incidents occurred while he was off-duty. The chief added that Riser was identified as a suspect in 2019 and the FBI participated in the investigation.
“We received information through a witness that implicated Riser in both murders,” Garcia said. “The motive for these murders is unknown at this time, and this remains an ongoing investigation.”
The affidavit states that the witness told police he had known Riser since they were young, though the pair only reconnected in 2013. Once they reconnected, Riser allegedly came up with a plan that he would give the witness information about drug houses—for him and his associate to then rob and split the profits.
“The witness states that the plan did not materialize because Suspect Riser came to him with another job which consisted in the kidnapping and killing of an individual,” the affidavit states.
Instead, Riser is said to have told the witness he wanted him to kill someone and offered to pay him $3,500. The affidavit said the witness went through with the plan several days later, kidnapping Douglas and killing him before dumping his body in the Trinity River.
About two weeks later, Riser offered him $6,000 to kill Saenz, whom he said was an informant. The affidavit said the witness complied with the request a few days later.
Despite the brutal crime, García admitted on Thursday that Riser was still on duty patrolling the community until he was placed on administrative leave Thursday morning—even while he was under investigation for murder.
Although he is currently in custody at the Dallas County Jail, the 36-year-old has not yet been terminated as a law-enforcement officer, and remains on administrative leave pending an Internal Affairs investigation, a department spokesperson said.
The Dallas Police Department is now moving toward termination.
“No one hates a bad cop more than a good cop,” García added. “We will not allow anyone to tarnish this badge.”
This is not the first time Riser has faced legal trouble. In 2017, just two months after the alleged murders, Riser was arrested and slapped with a misdemeanor charge of family violence causing bodily injury.
Police have previously said officers responded to Riser's home after he got into a fight with a woman he was dating over a Facebook post he wrote indicating their relationship was over. The woman, who was not identified, told police she wanted to take a photo with Riser and post it on Facebook to prove their relationship, but he’d asked her to leave. When she refused, a fight ensued.
Riser was placed on administrative leave and eventually allowed back on assignment in the South Central patrol division.