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Dallas Police Chief Eddie Garcia Facing Scrutiny After Former Officer Bryan Riser Released From Jail

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Dallas Police Chief Eddie Garcia faced some tough questions Thursday about his handling of the capital murder investigation involving Bryan Riser.

Video Transcript

- A month after firing and charging an officer that he said had no business wearing a uniform, new Dallas Police Chief Eddie Garcia is now facing some scrutiny of his own. The former officer he fired has been released from jail.

CBS11's JD Miles tonight reporting on the tough questions Chief Garcia faced today about his handling of the capital murder investigation involving Brian Riser.

EDDIE GARCIA: First of all, let me just say, I'm disappointed in yesterday's ruling. There's no question. I'm not going to lie about that.

JD MILES: Eddie Garcia deflected any blame for his Department's handling of the Bryan Riser investigation during a news conference at police headquarters. Garcia spoke for the first time since the judge's decision yesterday to release a former officer from jail, citing insufficient evidence and factual errors in the original arrest warrant.

EDDIE GARCIA: We're human beings, and the detective made a mistake, admitted his mistake, and corrected it.

JD MILES: Even the Dallas County DA agreed with the judge that Riser should be freed after a month behind bars, despite what DPD continues to believe.

EDDIE GARCIA: We're going to continue to thoroughly investigate this case. I support the work that our detectives did.

JD MILES: Riser has been under investigation since 2019 for supposedly ordering the murders of two people. DPD filed capital murder charges only days after the new chief learned about it.

The homicide detective over the case testified that he was not ready to file charges at the time and that it was higher ranking officers who decided to charge Riser. Riser's attorney says, if that's true, it sends a dangerous message to the community.

TOBY SHOOK [? Somewhat ?] if you can charge a police officer on such thin evidence, what can you do to a regular citizen?

EDDIE GARCIA: But I think we all know how the system works. I can't order an arrest even if I wanted to. What we did see to do was to write a statement of probable cause, present it to a judge to see if we could make an arrest.

JD MILES: DPD says it will continue its murder investigation, and believes its termination of Riser will stand because of undisclosed administrative policies he violated. Riser's labor attorney, meanwhile, says he's filed paperwork to try and get the former officer his job back. In Dallas, JD Miles, CBS11 News.