A scholar who pushed for release of the Robert Kennedy assassination files says the newly disclosed destruction of 2,410 evidence photographs is "deeply suspicious" and should be investigated.

Greg Stone, a University of Wisconsin political scientist who has devoted years to studying the assassination, said he was shocked that Tuesday's opening of the files also brought word of destroyed evidence."Far and away, the blinding central fact in this event is the unbelievable destruction of these photographs," said Stone. "That is an outrage and an insult to the American public. This performance (by the Los Angeles police) would be a disgrace in a routine auto accident.

"This is deeply suspicious," he added.

Stone's comments came after California Secretary of State March Fong Eu opened the long-secret files to the public and displayed significant items of evidence for reporters. She held aloft a boxed .22-caliber gun used by convicted assassin Sirhan Sirhan to kill the U.S. senator on June 5, 1968, after his victory in the California Democratic presidential primary.

Among the documents displayed was a certificate showing that 2,410 police photographs in the assassination case were burned Aug. 21, 1968.

The state's chief archivist, John Burns speculated that the destroyed photos could have been duplicates.