Belfast Telegraph

Friday 19 September 2014

Tsarnaev pics officer faces hearing

An image of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev appears on the cover ofRolling Stone (AP/Wenner Media)

A state police sergeant who released striking photos of the capture of the surviving suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings faces a hearing to determine if he will be suspended until an internal investigation is complete.

Massachusetts State Police spokesman David Procopio said the agency did not authorise Sgt Sean Murphy to release the photos to Boston Magazine and will not release them to other media.

He said Sgt Murphy has been relieved of duty for one day and there will be a hearing to decide if he will be suspended until the internal investigation is complete. He did not say when the hearing will be.

Sgt Murphy told Boston Magazine he was furious over a Rolling Stone cover photo he believes glamorises suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. He said his photos show "the real Boston bomber".

The photos show a downcast, dishevelled Tsarnaev with the red dot of a sniper's rifle laser sight on his forehead.

In a statement to the magazine, Sgt Murphy said Tsarnaev was evil and his photos showed the "real Boston bomber, not someone fluffed and buffed for the cover of Rolling Stone magazine".

The photos were taken when Tsarnaev was captured on April 19, bleeding and hiding in a boat in a suburban back garden.

The April 15 bombing killed three people and injured more than 260. A police officer was allegedly killed on April 18 by Tsarnaev and his brother Tamerlan, who died following a shoot-out with police later that evening.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, an ethnic Chechen who came to the US as a child, pleaded not guilty last week while appearing nonchalant.

Boston Magazine printed more than a dozen photos from the day Tsarnaev was captured. Three of the images show Tsarnaev as he emerged from the boat, head bowed, with red smudges and streaks on his clothing and the boat.

Two images show the red dot of the laser sight in the middle of his forehead and just above his left eye. The other show the dot on the top of his head as he buries his face in his arms.

Rolling Stone has said the 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".

ends

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