After Dallas Police Officer Bryan Riser was arrested for murder, Dallas County District Attorney John Creuzot—who reportedly assisted Black Lives Matter protestors last year—dodged questions of whether Riser was on his list of officers with credibility issues. Creuzot has also blocked efforts to reveal how many such officers his office knows about.
Last week, Riser was arrested on two charges of capital murder. He had been under investigation for 20 months, but continued to serve in the department.
Former Police Chief Renee Hall released a statement saying Riser was a “person of interest” back in 2019, but she and the district attorney’s office “determined there was not enough evidence to charge him at that time.” She also said the FBI agreed Riser should not be put on administrative leave, a claim they have since disputed.
Creuzot’s office did not respond to a press inquiry about Hall’s statement before publication.
Creuzot reportedly told Hall he wouldn’t prosecute Black Lives Matter protestors who had been detained during last year’s protests-turned-riots, but he would permit citations.
Last October, Creuzot asked citizens for any visual evidence of Dallas police officers using “less than lethal” force—such as pepper balls—on that summer’s protestors. This was part of Creuzot’s investigation of DPD officers’ conduct during the crisis.
Texas Scorecard asked Creuzot if Riser was on his Brady list. According to Derek Cohen, director of Texas Public Policy Foundation’s criminal justice reform campaign Right On Crime, a Brady list [aka Giglio list] is “a list that the [district attorney] would have that says we cannot call ‘officer so-and-so’ to testify because if we do, we then have to state publicly on the judicial record that this officer has impeachment evidence.”
“In other words, these [officers] should not be trusted because of X, Y, and Z,” Cohen added. “From a public integrity standpoint, people [on] Giglio [lists] should not be police officers.”
Terminating or furloughing such officers was a demand of the far-left in Dallas after the tragic death of George Floyd in Minneapolis last year.
In their statement responding to our inquiry, Creuzot’s office wrote, “The office will thoroughly review the case file on Bryan Riser after the Dallas Police Department provides it. It is the policy of this office not to comment on cases that are under investigation prior to a grand jury hearing.”
Texas Scorecard sent a follow-up inquiry asking if they’d make available to the public the amount of law enforcement officers within Dallas County on Cruezot’s Brady list, or if he believes officers with Brady issues should be allowed to serve. Creuzot’s office didn’t respond.
Texas Scorecard attempted to discover how many officers were on Creuzot’s list last year through an open records request, which resulted in Creuzot appealing to Attorney General Ken Paxton to keep the information hidden.
Dallas City Councilmember Adam Bazaldua, who has publicly supported Dallas’ BLM protestors, told Texas Scorecard on June 5, 2020, that he would ask Creuzot how many Dallas police officers are on his list, claiming they have a “regular dialogue.”
Bazaldua hasn’t provided any updates or replied to further inquiries on the subject.
Councilmember Cara Mendelsohn has said she was informed only four DPD officers are on Creuzot’s Brady list, and none of them are in “public-facing roles.”
A press inquiry was sent to City Manager T.C. Broadnax, asking if Riser was on Creuzot’s list.
“Officer Riser was not one of those four, but he was on the Brady list, and there is collaboration between DPD and the district attorney,” said Catherine Cuellar, director of communications, outreach, and marketing.
“It’s my understanding [that] hundreds of officers are on the Brady list,” she continued. “The DA maintains the list even if officers leave the department.”
Cuellar herself provided her own definition of a Brady list, saying it’s “compromised of officers who received varying levels of administrative discipline, and those actions are provided to the DA as precautions to ensure prosecutors can disclose exculpatory evidence during pretrial discovery.”
“Being on a Brady list doesn’t mean cases involving those officers cannot be prosecuted,” she added.
Cuellar stated she does not know what level of “administrative discipline” Riser has received.
Before asking Broadnax, inquiries were sent to the city council and the office of Mayor Eric Johnson on March 4. All who replied said they didn’t know if Riser was on Creuzot’s list.
“We just learned about this case today and do not know if Officer Riser was on the Brady list,” replied Tristan Hallman, chief of policy and communications for Mayor Johnson, on March 4. “That would be a question for DA Creuzot and/or [DPD] Chief Garcia.”
“And as you know, the city charter states that all city employees work for the city manager and that the city council is forbidden from interfering with the appointment or removal of any employee,” he added.
On March 8, Cuellar said, “The information about the Brady list has been disclosed upon request to council members.”
When asked, Dallas County Commissioners J.J. Koch and Dr. Elba Garcia told Texas Scorecard that Creuzot doesn’t regularly disclose to commissioners how many sheriff’s deputies are on his Brady list or how many law enforcement officers he has concerns about.
When asked for an exact number of DPD officers on Creuzot’s Brady list, Cuellar asked for an open records request. One has been sent to the City of Dallas Police Department, and another has been sent to Creuzot.
Cuellar gave the same response when asked if it was city staff or city council that set the policy allowing DPD officers on the Brady list to continue serving. An open records request has been sent seeking any orders or council action that enacted such policy.
Citizens concerned about how many police officers or sheriff’s deputies in their locality are on the district attorney’s Brady list may contact their DA, mayor, and city manager.
For those concerned about more accountability and due process, Right On Crime has published “A Contract for Public Safety” with eight proposed reforms—most of which citizens can push for in their city councils and the Texas Legislature.