Massachusetts State Police Sgt. Sean Murphy was relieved of duty Thursday after supplying Boston Magazine graphic images of Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in response to Rolling Stone magazine‘s August issue, which features a glamor shot of the 19-year-old on its cover.
Sgt. Murphy, a tactical photographer, documented the capture of Tsarnaev after two bombs exploded at the finish line of the Boston Marathon in April, killing three people and wounding scores more. After his older brother and fellow suspect, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, was killed in a police shootout, Tsarnaev was captured hiding in a boat. In a statement, Murphy wrote that he was releasing the bloody images of the suspect because he felt angered that Tsarnaev was portrayed in a glamorous light on the Rolling Stone magazine cover.
See all the photos HERE.
Here’s the full statement:
“As a professional law-enforcement officer of 25 years, I believe that the image that was portrayed by Rolling Stone magazine was an insult to any person who has every worn a uniform of any color or any police organization or military branch, and the family members who have ever lost a loved one serving in the line of duty. The truth is that glamorizing the face of terror is not just insulting to the family members of those killed in the line of duty, it also could be an incentive to those who may be unstable to do something to get their face on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine.
“I hope that the people who see these images will know that this was real. It was as real as it gets. This may have played out as a television show, but this was not a television show. Officer Dick Donohue almost gave his life. Officer Sean Collier did give his life. These were real people, with real lives, with real families. And to have this cover dropped into Boston was hurtful to their memories and their families. I know from first-hand conversations that this Rolling Stone cover has kept many of them up—again. It’s irritated the wounds that will never heal—again. There is nothing glamorous in bringing more pain to a grieving family.
“Photography is very simple, it’s very basic. It brings us back to the cave. An image like this on the cover of Rolling Stone, we see it instantly as being wrong. What Rolling Stone did was wrong. This guy is evil. This is the real Boston bomber. Not someone fluffed and buffed for the cover of Rolling Stone magazine.”
The editor of Boston Magazine, John Wolfson, said late Thursday night that Sgt. Murphy was not fired, but “relieved of duty.” He will face a hearing next week.