State Trooper Who Released Boston Bomber Photos Relieved Of Duty

Sgt. Sean Murphy, a tactical photographer with the Mass. State Police, was relieved of his duty after releasing photos of the Dzhokhar Tsarnaev manhunt to Boston Magazine Thursday.

Josh Perry


Wow- this photo from Boston magazine is crazy. Sniper with laser sight on Dzhokhar’s forehead #Boston

Sgt. Murphy, who had worked with the Mass. Police Department for 25 years, released the photos after the cover of Rolling Stone made him “furious with the magazine” and “he feels the need to counter the message that it conveys,” reports Boston Magazine. The pictures reveal how Tsarnaev appeared at the time of his capture and the details of his capture.

3. Sgt. Murphy’s quotes from Boston Magazine:

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.

David Jack


Police photographer outraged at Rolling Stone magazine’s ‘Boston bomber’ cover releases pic of Tsarnaev’s capture

5. Though he’s been relieved of duty, Murphy has not been fired.

BuzzFeed News


.@MassStatePolice officer who gave @BostonMagazine photos of Tsarnaev has been relieved of duty, but not yet fired, @johnwolfson reports

Two lieutenants went to Sgt. Murphy’s home and took “his gun, badge, ammunition, handcuffs, baton, bulletproof vest, cameras, police ID, license to fire arms, pepper spray, cellphone and computer,” reports Boston Magazine.

7. John Wolfson, the Editor of Boston Magazine, says that Sgt. Murphy has been ordered not to talk to the press.

Has been ordered not to talk to media or anyone else about events at Watertown.

— John Wolfson (@johnwolfson)

John Wolfson


Has been ordered not to talk to media or anyone else about events at Watertown.

8. Andrea Courtois, the Assignment Editor at CBS Boston, reports the Police Department will review the status of his duty.

.@massstatepolice will conduct an internal investigation of the dept photographer's release of the photos. We will have no further comment.

— AndreaWBZ (@AndreaWBZ)



.@massstatepolice will conduct an internal investigation of the dept photographer’s release of the photos. We will have no further comment.

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Michelle Broder Van Dyke is a reporter and night editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in Hawaii.
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