DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – A month after firing and charging an officer he said had no business wearing a uniform, Dallas Police Chief Eddie Garcia is facing scrutiny now that the former officer has been released from jail.
Garcia faced some tough questions Thursday about his handling of the capital murder investigation involving Bryan Riser.READ MORE: 'I'm Afraid We're Going To See A Surge Of Violence' Says Texas Criminologist Following Recent Mass Shootings
“Disappointed in yesterday’s ruling, there’s no question. I’m not gonna lie about that,” Garcia said.
Garcia deflected any blame for his department’s handling of the Riser investigation during a news conference at police headquarters. He spoke for the first time since a judge’s decision on Wednesday to release Riser from jail, citing insufficient evidence and factual errors in the original arrest warrant.
“We are human beings and the detective made a mistake, admitted to the mistake and corrected it,” Garcia said.
Even the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office agreed with the judge that Riser should be freed after a month behind bars despite what the police department continues to believe.
“We’re going to continue to thoroughly investigate this case, support the work that our detective did,” Garcia said.READ MORE: Texas Grand Jury To Consider Charges In Shooting Death Of Protester Garrett Foster Last Summer
Riser has been under investigation since 2019 for supposedly ordering the murders of two people. The police department 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 said if that’s true it sends a dangerous message to the community.
“If you can charge a police officer on such thin evidence, what can you do to a regular person?” attorney Toby Shook said.
“I think we all know how the system works. I can’t order an arrest even if I wanted to. What we did say to do is to write a statement of probable cause, present it to a judge to see if we could make an arrest,” Garcia said.
The police department said it plans to continue the murder investigation and said Riser’s termination will stand because of undisclosed administrative policies he reportedly violated.MORE NEWS: As Pandemic Restrictions Ease, Child Abuse Reports Rise In North Texas
Riser’s labor attorney, meanwhile, has filed an appeal to try to get the former officer his job back.