Former Dallas Chief of Police Renee Hall on Friday clarified her statement a day earlier that suggested the FBI recommended Officer Bryan Riser was allowed to stay on duty so he wouldn’t be tipped off he was under investigation in two murders.
In a statement Thursday, Hall wrote: "DPD Special Investigations Unit, in collaboration with the FBI, recommended not placing Riser on administrative leave. Taking that action could have compromised the investigation."
But on Friday, FBI Special Agent in Charge Matthew DeSarno flatly denied his agents made such a suggestion.
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"We did not at any time and would not make recommendations about pulling him or leaving him on duty,” DeSarno said. “We at no time asked them to leave him on duty."
Within hours, Hall issued a new statement, explaining the suggestion came from department investigators and not federal agents.
She said the police department and not the FBI was the lead agency in the investigation.
“The special agent’s statement is correct and my statement is correct,” Hall said. “It’s disappointing that some want to start a blame game when the focus should be on a successful outcome.”
Even other officers are wondering why Riser was allowed to stay in uniform for many months after he became a suspect in two murders.
"Why was this going on so long? And why was he still on the street?” asked Frederick Frazier, vice president of the Dallas Police Association. “I get the fact that well, we didn't want to tip him off. I'm sorry but he's out in public. And he's wearing the uniform, is carrying a gun, and driving a squad car that says Dallas police on it."
Riser is accused of hiring someone to kidnap and shoot Albert Douglas and Liza Saenz in 2017 and dump their bodies in the Trinity River. Douglas' body has never been found.
The connection between Riser and the victims is unclear.
Riser remained in the Dallas County Jail Friday on $5 million bond.
DeSarno said the FBI was continuing to assist with the investigation and declined to discuss details since it is still ongoing.