Massachusetts state trooper who leaked Boston Marathon suspect photos back on patrol

By The Guardian
Thursday, August 15, 2013 21:14 EDT
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A picture released by the FBI of Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. (AFP)
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The Massachusetts state trooper who leaked arrest photos of the Boston Marathon bombing suspect is back on patrol, newly assigned to a remote barracks.

A state police spokesman confirmed that Sergeant Sean Murphy has been assigned to the Athol barracks in north-central Massachusetts. The spokesman, David Procopio, said the assignment started last week and is not punishment for Murphy’s unauthorized release of photos of a bloodied Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. He said that investigation is ongoing.

Murphy, a tactical photographer previously based at the state police headquarters in Framingham, said last month he leaked images showing Tsarnaev’s capture to Boston magazine in response to Rolling Stone using an image of the 19-year-old on its front cover.

Colonel Timothy Alben, the state police commander, has said Murphy is unlikely to be fired. Murphy has already served a one-day unpaid suspension for releasing the images. He won support in some circles, with a Facebook page called “Save Sgt Sean Murphy” receiving almost 70,000 likes.

The officer leaked a series of images to Boston magazine last month. He told the magazine that the image of Tsarnaev that Rolling Stone used for its front cover, criticised by some as glamorising the bombing suspect, 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”.

One of the images Murphy released shows a bloodied Tsarnaev sitting upright on the edge of the boat where he had lain hidden as police searched for him. The red spotlight of a sniper’s laser is shown on the 19-year-old’s forehead. Other images show the alleged bomber receiving treatment after being taken into custody.

Murphy’s lawyer did not return a message Thursday.

guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media 2013

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