Officer who released photos of Tsarnaev capture put on desk duty

July 23, 2013 at 2:26 PM
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FRAMINGHAM, Mass., July 23 (UPI) -- The Massachusetts policeman who leaked photos of the alleged Boston bomber taken at the time of his capture was put on restricted duty Tuesday, officials said.

State Trooper Sgt. Sean Murphy will keep his job at least until an investigation of his actions is completed, the Boston Herald reported.

Murphy had come under scrutiny last week after he released photos of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in what he said was a response to a photo of the suspect published on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine.

Rolling Stone's image showed a tousled-hair Tsarnaev looking the part of a teen idol. Murphy's photos showed the suspect emerging from under a boat tarp, disheveled and bloodied, with a laser dot from a sniper's rifle on his forehead.

Murphy told Boston magazine, which published his photos, "I hope the people who see these images will know that this was real. It was as real as it gets," CNN reported.

Murphy was temporarily suspended after the police photos went public. Tuesday's action during a hearing at state police headquarters allows him to keep his $108,500-a-year job for the moment.

State police Superintendent Timothy Alban praised Murphy as an "exemplary employee," but said his action had hurt the department.

The trooper's actions had drawn the support of more than 51,000 people on a "Save Sgt. Murphy" page set up on Facebook.

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