Facebook Users Back Mass. Cop Who Leaked Tsarnaev Photos

Saturday, 27 Jul 2013 11:00 PM

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The Massachusetts State Police photographer who leaked photos of a bloodied, defeated 19-year-old suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings during his capture is getting huge support from social media.

A "Save Sgt. Sean Murphy" page on Facebook had 66,077 "likes" on Saturday, The Los Angeles Times reports.

Murphy leaked the photos of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, now 20, to Boston Magazine earlier this month in response to a Rolling Stone magazine cover that critics said romanticized the alleged bombing suspect.

Murphy, a tactical photographer who's been on the force for 25 years, was placed on restricted duty after the unauthorized leak.

But State Police Col. Timothy P. Alben said, after an administrative hearing this week, that it appeared likely Murphy would keep his job.

Alben told The Boston Globe that he held Murphy in “high regard” and considered him “an exemplary employee.”

"Please help me save Sgt. Sean Murphy from losing his job with the Massachusetts State Police," states the anonymous Facebook page. "This petition is to save Trooper Sean Murphy his job. He did what I think most of us would have liked to do or would have done had we had the same resources."

Boston Magazine included comments from Murphy when it published the photos online on July 18.

"An image like this on the cover of Rolling Stone, we see it instantly as being wrong," wrote Murphy, who said he knew first-hand that victims' families had been disturbed by the magazine's cover. "What Rolling Stone did was wrong.

"This guy is evil. This is the real Boston bomber. Not someone fluffed and buffed for the cover of Rolling Stone magazine," Murphy said.

But the unauthorized release of police photos has worried some legal observers about the potential effect on the pending federal criminal case against Tsarnaev, the Times reports.


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