Sergeant faces hearing after releasing Boston bomber photos
A police sergeant who released striking photos of the capture of the surviving suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings faces a hearing to determine if he will be suspended until an internal investigation is complete.
Massachusetts State Police spokesman David Procopio said the agency didn't authorise Sgt Sean Murphy to release the photos to 'Boston Magazine' and wouldn't release them to other media.
Sgt Murphy told 'Boston Magazine' he released the photos because he was furious over a 'Rolling Stone' cover photo he believes glamorises suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. He said his photos show "the real Boston bomber, not someone fluffed and buffed for the cover of 'Rolling Stone' magazine".
The music magazine hits the shelves this week, and some US retailers have said they won't sell it.
Mr Procopio said yesterday that Sgt Murphy has been relieved of duty for one day and there will be a hearing to decide if he will be suspended until the internal investigation is complete. He did not say when the hearing will be.
Sgt Murphy could not be reached for a comment yesterday.
"The release of these photos was completely unacceptable," said Christina DiIorio-Sterling, a spokeswoman for US Attorney Carmen Ortiz, who is prosecuting the case.
"We have spoken with the Massachusetts State Police, who have assured us that the release of the photos was unauthorised and that they are taking action internally in response."
Governor Deval Patrick appeared reticent on the issue yesterday. "Talk to the state police, they violated the rules when they did it," he said.
Asked if he was concerned the release of the photos would compromise the investigation of Mr Tsarnaev, Mr Patrick again referred questions to the state police.
An aide to the governor later said Mr Patrick was only referring to the individual officer who released the photos, not any other members of the state police.