The Upbeat

Who is heroic cop in iconic Boston bombing photo?

The Upbeat

View photo

.
Boston police officers react to the Marathon bombings (John Tlumacki / AP)

Boston police officers react to the Marathon bombings. (John Tlumacki / AP)

Much has been written about the above photo, taken by AP photographer John Tlumacki. It captures the chaos, danger and bravery of those on the scene of the Boston Marathon explosions.

Javier Pagan is the officer on the right side of the photo. Dallas Voice writes that Pagan is a longtime member of the Boston Police and serves as liaison between the BPD and the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community.

As the photo went viral, a Facebook group called Boston Pride issued a shoutout to the officer:

The police officer on the far right is a good friend of Boston Pride! One of the First Responders who was miraculously standing right behind the flags where the first bomb went off---- Boston Pride would like to Thank Javier for all you do!

Yahoo News spoke with Sylvain Bruni, board member for Boston Pride, about Pagan's contributions. "We do a lot of public events, and Officer Pagan helps with security and the planning" to make sure things go smoothly from a "safety and security standpoint," Bruni said. "He's there early in the morning, like 6:00 or 7:00... He's done a phenomenal job."

Pagan has been profiled in other blogs and media outlets. South Florida Gay News writes that Pagan's position makes him the "most highly visible LGBT member of the Boston Police." In 2002, he gave an interview with Bay Windows, in which he spoke about his decision to come out as gay at the age of 26, a year after he joined the police force.

"Literally I've always known that I was gay, I just really never -- I grew up in a Catholic home and I've got three older sisters, and being Hispanic, it's the big "machismo" thing... When I came out my family was completely like, `Who were you fooling? You're not fooling us... But it was -- in all honesty, I've had the best support from my family, my friends, even my colleagues. Like I said, I wasn't fooling anyone but myself."

In another interview with CrossFit, an exercise site, Pagan said that he is married to a retired sergeant from the New York Police Department. Pagan said that on 9/11, his husband helped to "rescue many people when the towers collapsed."

View Comments (1840)