Boston: A police photographer, furious with a Rolling Stone magazine cover photo he said glamorises the surviving Boston Marathon suspect, released gritty images from the night Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was captured and then was relieved of his duties.
The photos released to Boston Magazine on Thursday by Massachusetts State Police tactical photographer Sgt Sean Murphy show a bloody, dishevelled Tsarnaev with the red dot of a sniper`s rifle laser sight on his forehead.
Murphy said in a statement to the magazine that Tsarnaev is evil and his photos show the "real Boston bomber, not someone fluffed and buffed for the cover of Rolling Stone magazine". The music magazine hits the shelves this week, and some retailers have said they won`t sell it.
The newly-released photos were taken when Tsarnaev was captured on April 19, bleeding and hiding in a boat in a suburban backyard.
The April 15 bombing near the finish line of the most famous marathon in the country 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 shootout 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, though his face was swollen and his arm was in a cast.
State police spokesman David Procopio said in a statement that the agency did not authorise the release of the photos to Boston Magazine and will not release them to other media. "The State Police will have no further comment on this matter tonight," he added.
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.
Boston Magazine editor John Wolfson later tweeted and reported on the magazine`s website that Murphy was "relieved of duty" and had a hearing next week. Asked by a news agency about Murphy`s job status, Procopio said in an e-mail that state police will conduct an internal investigation into Murphy`s release of the photos.
Murphy said in his statement to Boston Magazine that Rolling Stone`s cover photo, a softly-lit image of a brooding Tsarnaev, insults officers killed in the line of duty, their colleagues and their families by glamorising the "face of terror".
"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," he said.
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."
In his statement, Murphy said the capture of Tsarnaev played out like a television show, but he hopes his photos show it was "as real as it gets".
"These were real people, with real lives, with real families," Murphy said. "And to have this cover dropped into Boston was hurtful to their memories and their families." He added, "There is nothing glamorous in bringing more pain to a grieving family."