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Even though we are sensitive to the family’s emotions, we decided that the public had an overriding need to see what happened. From a legal standpoint, the shooting occurred in a public place, with no expectation of privacy, and any lawsuit would seem to have no apparent standing.

I did place a warning about the graphic nature of the material, which I consider good journalistic practice to make certain people know what they would be seeing.

The police charged a man in the crime; the photos likely will play a role in any prosecution.

We believe we made the right decision to run what happened on a city street on a relatively typical day when one young man died.

Christopher Harper is a professor at Temple University. He worked for more than 20 years at The Associated Press, Newsweek, ABC News and “20/20.” He can be contacted at