Sgt. Sean Murphy, the Massachusetts police photographer who leaked photos of the surviving Boston bombing suspect, is now on desk duty pending the outcome of an internal investigation.
The investigation is expected to take several weeks. During that time, Murphy's superiors will decide what further punishment, if any, he will face.
“Murphy could lose his job for releasing these bloody and bruised photos of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to ‘Boston Magazine’, a possible violation of department policy,” CNN’s Jason Carroll reports.
Murphy has said that he leaked the photos in protest to Rolling Stone Magazine's glamorized cover of the Boston bombing suspect. Critics feel the cover likens Tsarnaev to a rock star.
Murphy is currently unable to comment because of the investigation. Yet many are rushing to defend the him, including his colleagues, who hail Sgt. Murphy as a man of honor and conscience, and his 19-year-old son.
“My dad's kind of always been a huge hero to me,” his son Connor Patrick Murphy says. “If I could be one fourth the man he is now then I could be happy with my life. I couldn't be prouder.”
The outpour of support doesn’t stop there. “A Facebook page set up in his honor has some 60 thousand followers and counting,” Carroll reports.
“Murphy's boss says it's a difficult situation, but he must maintain the integrity of the department.”
Superintendent Mass State Police Timothy Alben says, “If we get into a situation where we allow employees to cherry pick and choose what confidential information can be shared with the public, then we've lost integrity of Massachusetts State Police.”
All press may not necessarily be good press, not when a popular magazine puts someone on the its cover who is popular for all the wrong reasons.
The cover of Rolling Stone magazine is usually reserved for rock stars, actors and other celebrities. But the August 3rd edition features Boston marathon bombing suspect, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, someone who isn't famous, but infamous - and there's already a social media backlash.
“The cover reads: "The bomber. How a popular, promising student was failed by his family, fell into radical Islam and became a monster,” CNN’s Melisa Raney reports.
“It has ignited a firestorm online with people taking to social media to express their dismay.”
Boston’s Mayor Thomas Menino spoke out against the cover on Wednesday saying, "Why are we going to publicize a guy who destroyed people's lives? Doesn't make any sense to me. Very poor taste."
“The magazine posted a response on its website today, saying its hearts go out to the victims,” Raney says.
The statement reads in part: “The cover story we are publishing this week falls within the traditions of journalism and Rolling Stone's long-standing commitment to serious and thoughtful coverage of the most important political and cultural issues of our day."