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July 19, 2013

Police Photographer Leaks Boston Bombing Suspect Photos

by VOA News

A U.S. police photographer has released pictures of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, taken the night the suspect was captured.

Massachusetts State Police Sergeant Sean Murphy said Thursday he released the photographs to counter what he called the "fluffed and buffed" image of Tsarnaev on the cover of Rolling Stone, a U.S.-based magazine.

Murphy said Tsarnaev is "evil" and the Rolling Stone photos glamorized what he called the "face of terror."

The photographs, released to Boston Magazine, show a bloody, disheveled Tsarnaev with the red dot of a sniper's rifle laser sight on his forehead.

​​A Massachusetts State Police spokesman said his agency did not authorize the release of the pictures. Boston Magazine says Murphy has been "relieved of his duty" with a review of his status to take place next week.

​​Rolling Stone is under fire for using a cover photo of a youthful Tsarnaev with soft eyes and long, flowing curly hair to promote its in-depth story on Tsarnaev's life leading up to the April 15 attacks. The picture was instantly compared to similar portraits of legendary rock stars Bob Dylan and Jim Morrison.

Thousands of people went on Facebook and Twitter to condemn the magazine, with many vowing to never buy another issue. A handful of retailers, including two national drug chain stores, have refused to sell the issue.

The magazine issued a statement late Wednesday defending its decision to use the photo, saying it falls within the magazine's commitment to "serious and thoughtful coverage" of the world's biggest "political and cultural issues of the day."

The issue officially goes on sale Friday.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and his older brother Tamerlan are accused of plotting the attack on the famous race that killed three people and left more than 260 others wounded, many of them losing legs and other limbs from the shrapnel caused by the homemade bombs. The younger Tsarnaev was wounded in a shootout with police that left Tamerlan dead, and was captured a day later.

The pair are also accused in the shooting death of a police officer with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology .