Bruce Bledsoe's Example of the Erika Murray Problem

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Shortly before his retirement, former deputy Bruce Bledsoe provided a good example of the Erika Murray problem at the Multnomah County Detention Center. This example shows how she investigates incident reports. In this case deputy James Harrington had used excessive force against an inmate and listed Bledsoe as a witness. Hearing Officer Murray then sent an email to deputy Bledsoe and another deputy involved (Gretchen Rosa). Bledsoe then responded to Murray's email two days later with a response consistent with Harrington's lies.

The problem illustrated by this beyond Bledsoe's dishonesty and the unwritten code among deputies to always support each other, is that Erika Murray gives deputies like Bledsoe way too much time to think about their answers to her questions. Sending out an email and letting the recipients take their sweet time in getting back to her just gives them time to get their stories straight. Then Murray can say that she questioned deputies and got consistent answers. As anyone in law enforcement should know, it is not a good idea to give people you want to interview a chance to talk about what they want their story to be if you want truthful answers. If Erika Murray really wanted to know the truth she would at least ambush the witnesses and ask them questions in person without giving them time to think about their answers.

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