The Huffington Post reported that controversy arose after the New York Times' website published a graphic photo of a victim of the widely reported shooting that occurred near the Empire State Building on Friday. The image, published online the same day as the shooting, provides an aerial view a man lying on his back on a sidewalk as rivulets of blood stream from his body toward the street and police examine the crime scene.
Some voiced their outrage on Twitter, where one user wrote, "Maybe it's just me, but I find a photo of the blood draining from a shooting victim to be kind of unnecessary. @nytimes."
Another person accused the Times of "lacking taste."
However, the choice to run the image was supported by many, including the Times' own David Carr, who wrote that "Just showing survivors weeping after gun violence does not tell full story. Sometime you have to go there."
Later, the Times' website rearranged its online slideshow of shooting-related photos, placing the controversial image later in the slideshow sequence than it appeared originally.
Some on Twitter praised the organization for burying the image in the slideshow.
Just after 9:00 AM EDT on Friday, Jeffrey Johnson opened fire with a .45 caliber pistol near the Empire State Building, close to the location where he had been fired from his job as a T-shirt designer about a year ago, according to reports. The police acted quickly, squeezing off sixteen shots of their own and downing Johnson quickly. In the carnage, nine bystanders were injured by either ricocheting bullets or fragments.
Today, the New York City medical examiner will perform an autopsy on the shooter, as well as on the co-worker who was gunned down in the incident, according to Newsday. Three of the innocent bystanders injured in the shooting remain at Bellevue Hospital and are unlikely to be released within the next 24 hours, though their injuries are not life-threatening.
"We see some ballistic damage to the [curb] flower pots by police fire and bullet fragments and ricochets, which may have caused civilians being shot or receiving graze wounds," said Paul Browne, an NYPD spokesperson.
This isn't the first time the Times published a graphic image on its home page.
At the beginning of August, an image depicting a starving Somali child was used on the front page, which ran with the headline, "Somalis Waste Away as Insurgents Block Escape From Famine."