David Powell reported here last week on the scandal involving pictures of Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev run by Rolling Stone magazine, including a cover photo. One Massachusetts state trooper, Sergeant Sean Murphy, tactical photographer on site for the apprehension of Tsarnaev, was so enraged at what he saw as insensitivity on the part of Rolling Stone, possibly even presenting Tsarnaev in a “rock star” kind of light, that he put out a statement.
I believe that the image that was portrayed by Rolling Stone magazine was an insult to any person who has every worn a uniform of any color or any police organization or military branch, and the family members who have ever lost a loved one serving in the line of duty. The truth is that glamorizing the face of terror is not just insulting to the family members of those killed in the line of duty, it also could be an incentive to those who may be unstable to do something to get their face on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine.
Then he further took matters into his own hands. He released photos of his own that showed Tsarnaev on the night of his arrest. The photos hit the media and were hailed as an appropriate response by someone who had personally lived through the horror of those days shortly after the bombing.
But now, ABC News reports that Sgt. Murphy, a 25-year veteran of the police force, has been stripped of his gun and badge and placed on restricted duty. It turns out that he was not authorized to release the photos that everyone has now seen. He has been placed on desk duty pending the outcome of an investigation that could last several more weeks.
Several Facebook pages have been set up to show support for Murphy, including those with names like “Save Sgt Sean Murphy Rolling Stone True Pictures”, which currently has over 62,000 likes, and “I support Sgt. Sean P. Murphy”, which has over 3,000 likes.