According to U. Renee Hall, the city’s former police chief, the decision to keep him on the force was made in collaboration with the Dallas County district attorney’s office and federal law enforcement to keep the officer unaware of ongoing investigations. “Taking that action could have compromised the investigation. If Riser had known he was a person-of-interest, DPD might not have been able to bring justice to the families,” Hall said.
In addition to Riser, three others—Kevin Kidd, Emmanuel Kilpatrick and Jermon Simmons—were charged with capital murder in the killing of Saenz, whose body was recovered; Douglas’ body was not. According to police officials, anonymous tips led them to the suspects. Riser’s cellphone and squad car then later placed him in locations witnesses identified as where they met him to plan the killings.
Of the three men charged with Saenz’s murder, one told police that he and Riser were involved in burglaries when they were younger, according to the AP. An affidavit for Riser’s arrest doesn’t identify the man by name.
The affidavit also mentioned that Riser and the man had planned to rob drug stash houses but were unable to. According to the affidavit, Riser was planning to provide the man with information on the houses for them to both split the proceeds. Additionally, the man told investigators that Riser offered him at least $9,500 to kidnap and kill Douglas, and later Saenz. How Riser knew Douglass and Saenz and whether they had a connection to the department is currently unclear.
While Riser’s lawyer has not yet been identified, Kilpatrick’s lawyer, William “Karo” Johnson, called Riser “the dirtiest cop I’ve ever encountered.” He also claimed that “more and more will come out. I’m not even sure Hollywood would buy the script to this whole thing.”
Despite being arrested and charged, Riser, who has been on the force since 2008, has not been discharged from the department yet. He is on administrative leave pending the outcome of an internal affairs investigation, after which García said his department would expedite the process of firing him. “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.
“This individual has no business wearing this uniform,” García added. “I can’t be clearer than that.”
While the Dallas Police Department claims the case would not have reached this end had Riser been aware of investigations, it is appalling to see that a cop associated with not one but two murders was not discharged immediately. Our criminal justice system must be reformed to hold individuals accountable.
“I am grateful for our homicide detectives, who have worked to ensure that justice is served,” said Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson. “My heart goes out to the victims’ loved ones. I cannot imagine the anguish they have endured. They, and all the people of Dallas, deserve answers in this case.”