Sgt. faces hearing after releasing dramatic images of Boston bombing suspect's capture

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev emerges from a boat he was hiding in in Watertown, Mass., following a nearly 24-hour-long manhunt with authorities on April 19, 2013. Sean Murphy

BOSTON A state 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 authorize Sgt. Sean Murphy to release the photos to Boston Magazine and won't release them to other media.

Murphy told Boston Magazine he released the photos because he was furious over a Rolling Stone cover photo he believes glamorizes 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 retailers have said they won't sell it.

In this magazine cover image released by Wenner Media, Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev appears on the cover of the Aug. 1, 2013 issue of "Rolling Stone."
AP Photo/Wenner Media

"As a professional law-enforcement officer of 25 years, 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," he said in a statement, according to Boston Magazine.

Procopio told CBS Newson Thursday that Murphy had been relieved of duty for one day. He said Friday that 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.

Murphy has not returned calls from The Associated Press. No one answered the door Friday at the blue cottage along the coast in Biddeford, Maine, where neighbors said he spends weekends. Someone started a "Save Sgt. Sean Murphy" Facebook page that had hundreds of "likes" in just a few hours.

"The release of these photos was completely unacceptable," said Christina DiIorio-Sterling, a spokeswoman for U.S. 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 unauthorized and that they are taking action internally in response."

Gov. Deval Patrick appeared reticent on the issue Friday as he walked quickly back to his office after an event in the Statehouse.

"Talk to the state police, they violated the rules when they did it," he said in response to a question from a reporter.

Asked if he was concerned the release of the photos would compromise the investigation of Tsarnaev, Patrick again referred questions to the state police.

An aide to the governor later said Patrick was only referring to the individual officer who released the photos, not any other members of the state police.

Rolling Stone has defended its cover art, saying it falls "within the traditions of journalism."

"The fact that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is young, and in the same age group as many of our readers, makes it all the more important for us to examine the complexities of this issue and gain a more complete understanding of how a tragedy like this happens.

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