The police photographer who took the never-before-seen photos of the accused Boston Marathon bomber is in hot water for making them public.
The dramatic photos were taken by Sergeant Sean Murphy, a tactical photographer who's a 25-year veteran of the Massachusetts state police. He has been suspended for one day and is "subject to internal investigation" for releasing the photos to Boston Magazine without permission.
He says he was responding to the controversial Rolling Stone cover of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev that he calls "an insult" to victims of the bombing. He says his stunning photos show "the real Boston bomber. Not someone fluffed and buffed for the cover of Rolling Stone magazine."
Boston talk radio is now rallying to Murphy's defense.
"As far as I'm concerned, you're a hero. I'm telling you, steak dinner, Sean, whatever you want. It's my treat my friend. [Source: The Kuhner Report, WRKO]
The photos show Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, bloodied and bruised, surrendering with his hands in the air as he emerged from the boat that he was hiding in. A police sniper's laser is aimed directly at his forehead, ready to shoot-to-kill if he makes one false move.
In the photo, Tsarnaev slumps across the deck of the boat, his bloodied arm hanging down.
Legal experts say Sergeant Murphy acted outside the bounds of law enforcement by leaking the photos. A spokesman for U.S. attorney Carmen Ortiz called his actions "Completely unacceptable."
INSIDE EDITION's Diane McInerney spoke to former police officer Steve Kardian, and asked, "Did he act outside the bounds of the law?"
Kardian responded, "He violated policy and prodedure. However, police officers are humans. They're not devoid of emotions. Sometimes they act on that emotion."
The photos are gripping the nation, but people are divided over Sgt. Murphy's decision to go rogue.
INSIDE EDITION got response from people on the street. One man said, "I believe the cop did the right thing."
A woman said, "He should have checked in before releasing the image."
Another man said, "I don't think the cop should have released the picture, but I don't think you can compare that to what Rolling Stone did."