BOSTON (MyFoxBoston.com) – Angry over the Rolling Stone cover, a Massachusetts State Police photographer released photos of the surviving Boston Marathon bombing suspect saying "this is the face of the real Dzhokhar Tsarnaev."
The Rolling Stone cover has sparked a wave of controversy with a photo of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. Critics say the magazine is glamorizing the accused terrorist, and the cover makes him look cool, even like a rockstar.
The newly released photos are of the 19-year-old when he was captured on April 19. On that evening, the younger Tsarnaev was found hiding in a boat behind a home in Watertown.
In one of the pictures, a red dot from a laser scope mounted on a sniper rifle can be seen on Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's forehead.
The other picture shows Dzhokhar Tsarnaev getting out of the boat. It appears he has blood on his hands and his face. The red dot from the sniper rifle can also be seen on his forehead as he lifts up his sweatshirt.
A story Boston Magazine published online Thursday afternoon said the pictures were taken by Sgt. Sean Murphy, a tactical photographer with the Mass. State Police.
Boston Magazine says Murphy released the photos in response to the Rolling Stone cover. He's quoted in the article saying "what Rolling Stone did was wrong. This guy is evil."
The article says that's the trooper's personal opinion and he's not speaking for the Mass. State Police.
David Procopio, Head of Media Relations for the Mass. State Police, issued a statement shortly after the release of the photos saying the "dissemination of photographs to the Boston Magazine of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and police activity related to his capture was not authorized by the Massachusetts State Police." Procopio went on to say that the department will not release photographs to the media.
The U.S. Attorney's Office issued a statement Thursday, as well, saying, "The release of these photos was completely unacceptable. We have spoken with the Massachusetts State Police, who have assured us that the release of the photos was unauthorized and that they are taking action internally in response."
On Friday, Procopio said 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.
"As representatives of the Massachusetts State Police, we are not in the business of participating in or furthering public debate regarding a commercial publication's right to publish what they wish - under the protection of the first amendment - no matter how offensive one may find the content," said Massachusetts State Police Colonel Timothy P. Alben, in an e-mail sent to state troopers and obtained by FOX 25.
"The unauthorized release of department photographs and individual member commentary on an indicted federal prosecution is an embarrassment to our department and a blemish on the professional and competent work performed by our members as well as all law enforcement agencies associated with this investigation," Alben added. "I implore every department member to exercise strict adherence to well-established department rules and regulations concerning actions such as this as well as to consider the wide ranging potential implications and possibly unintended, but likely consequences of non-compliance."
FULL STATEMENT FROM MASS. STATE POLICE:
"Today's dissemination to Boston Magazine of photographs of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokar Tsarnaev and police activity related to his capture was not authorized by the Massachusetts State Police. The department will not release the photographs to media outlets. The State Police will have no further comment on this matter tonight."
ADDITIONAL STATEMENTS FROM STATE POLICE:
July 19: Relieved of duty for one day. Separately, he will be subject of an internal investigation. No official statement on that.
July 18: The Massachusetts State Police will conduct an internal investigation of the department photographer's release of the photos referenced below. We will have no further comment during the pendancy of that investigation.
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