Boston Magazine: Trooper Knew Risk In Releasing Tsarnaev Photos
BOSTON (CBS/AP) — The Editor in Chief of Boston Magazine says State Police Sgt. Sean Murphy was well aware of the potential consequences from his decision to release striking photos of the capture of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to the magazine.
John Wolfson told 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher and Rich Friday that Murphy was furious over the controversial Rolling Stone cover featuring Tsarnaev when he showed up at Boston Magazine’s offices Thursday.
“There was a fairly animated gentleman here who said that he was really upset about the Rolling Stone cover,” Wolfson said. “It was as though he needed to get something off his chest.”
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Wolfson said Murphy explained to him that he knew firsthand that some of the families of bombing victims were upset by the photos, and he felt his photos showed “the real Boston bomber.”
“He felt that this cover — like a lot of people feel — sort of glamorized Tsarnaev,” Wolfson told Toucher and Rich. “He felt that these photos would sort of counter, be the antithesis of the glamour shot that is on the cover of Rolling Stone and he just wanted to get them out there.”
Massachusetts State Police spokesman David Procopio says the agency didn’t authorize Murphy to release the photos to Boston Magazine and won’t release them to other media, an assertion that Murphy backed up.
WBZ-TV’s Jon Keller reports
“He just wanted to make it explicitly clear that he was acting on his own without the authorization of anyone,” Wolfson said. “He was speaking strictly for himself; he was acting strictly for himself.”
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.
Wolfson said Murphy made it clear he knew the potential consequences of his decision.
“He was very aware all along that there could be repercussions for this. He came into this… with his eyes wide open, and he had made up his mind,” Wolfson said. “It became clearer that this was just something that he felt he needed to do. He just needed to get these out there.”
Murphy has come under fire from prosecutors over his decision to release the photos. Christina DiIorio-Sterling, a spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney’s office called the move “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,” Dilorio-Sterling said in a statement.
Gov. Deval Patrick also said on Friday that Murphy “violated the rules.”
But the governor did not appear eager to further discuss the incident, calling it a State Police matter.
“Go talk to them about it,” he told WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Carl Stevens.
State Public Safety Secretary Andrea Cabral, whose office oversees the State Police, declined comment.
Murphy has not returned calls from The Associated Press. No one answered the door Friday at the blue cottage along the coast in Biddeford, Maine, where neighbors said he spends weekends. Someone started a “Save Sgt. Sean Murphy” Facebook page that had hundreds of “likes” in just a few hours.
Boston Magazine is planning to publish more of the photos in its September issue of the magazine.
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