Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 23 July 2014

Desk duty for Boston photos officer

Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, bloody and disheveled, in a photo released by Sean Murphy (AP)

A police photographer who leaked photos of the surviving Boston Marathon bombing suspect during his capture has been placed on restricted duty.

Sean Murphy said he released the photos of what he called "the face of terror" to Boston Magazine last week to counter a glamourised image of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine.

Three of Mr Murphy's 14 photos showed a battered Tsarnaev emerging from a boat in a backyard, blood on his face and the red dot of a sniper's laser sight trained on his head.

Tsarnaev, 20, has pleaded not guilty in connection with the April 15 bombing that killed three people and injured or maimed 260. He is also accused of killing a police officer while on the run three days later. His brother died of injuries suffered during a police confrontation.

Mr Murphy was not authorised to release the photos and he has already served a one-day, unpaid suspension. He has been placed on desk duty, where he will not have contact with the public, until a further investigation is completed, according to state police spokesman David Procopio.

The US attorney's office called the release of the photos "completely unacceptable" and some lawyers said the images and Mr Murphy's comments could be used to argue government bias against Tsarnaev.

Mr Murphy declined to comment on Tuesday. He had said in a statement to Boston Magazine that the cover was an insult to police, military members and the families of anyone killed in the line of duty.

Rolling Stone said its cover story on Tsarnaev was part of its "long-standing commitment to serious and thoughtful coverage of the most important political and cultural issues of our day".

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