New, never-before-seen photos showing the moments before Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's capture emerged Thursday amid the release of a controversial Rolling Stone cover featuring the 19-year-old.
The photos of Tsarnaev's capture that first appeared on Boston magazine's website showed Tsarnaev covered with what appeared to be blood and a sniper's laser on his head.
The photos were credited to a tactical photographer, Massachusetts State Police Sgt. Sean Murphy.
Murphy and the photos, whose release was not authorized, now are the subjects of an internal Massachusetts State Police investigation, officials said. Murphy's duty status, meaning whether he will remain on full duty, restricted duty or suspension, will be determined next week, pending the outcome of the internal investigation, the state police said.
The release of the previously unseen photos of the night of Tsarnaev's capture, according to Boston magazine, came in response to Rolling Stone magazine's controversial August cover that features Tsarnaev.
Critics of the Rolling Stone Tsarnaev cover said it glorifies the alleged bomber.
Tsarnaev pleaded not guilty last week to 30 counts associated with the bombing. Tsarnaev is accused of working with his older brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, to set off a pair of bombs near the finish line of the Boston Marathon on April 15, killing three and injuring more than 260 people.
"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," Murphy told Boston magazine, speaking for himself and not acting as a Massachusetts State Police representative. "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," he said.
The Massachusetts State Police said the release of the photos was unauthorized.
"Today's dissemination to Boston magazine of photographs of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar 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," the statement said.
Rolling Stone Cover Controversy
Rolling Stone magazine has responded to the controversy by saying the decision to feature Tsarnaev was in line with the magazine's "long-standing commitment to serious and thoughtful coverage of important political and cultural issues."
"Our hearts go out to the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing, and our thoughts are always with them and their families," the magazine's editors said in a statement Wednesday. "The cover story we are publishing this week falls within the traditions of journalism and Rolling Stone's long-standing commitment to serious and thoughtful coverage of the most important political and cultural issues of our day.
The cover, often reserved for rock stars and top celebrities, features the 19-year-old teen suspect in a photo taken from one of Tsarnaev's social media accounts.
In the cover photo, Tsarnaev is sporting shaggy hair and staring intently into the camera. The headline on the cover reads, "The Bomber. How a popular, promising student was failed by his family, fell into radical Islam and became a monster."
CVS, Walgreens and Rite Aid announced via Twitter that they would pull the issue from their shelves.
The cover backlash exploded on social media, causing Rolling Stone to trend on Twitter for seven hours straight in the United States.
ABC News' Aaron Katersky contributed to this report.
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- Rolling Stone magazine
- Massachusetts State Police
- Boston magazine
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