Rolling Stone's choice to feature Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on the cover of its August 1st issue has caused plenty of controversy. On Friday, in the latest angry reaction to the cover, a police sergeant has leaked photos of Tsarnaev's capture to Boston Magazine, to show the "real Boston Bomber."
Police Sgt Sean Murphy, a photographer with the Massachusetts State Police who was there during the manhunt for Tsarnaev, has issued a statement to Boston Magazine and released photos of the day's events. In the statement, he condemns Rolling Stone and explains how the spread affected those involved in the capture.
"I believe that the image that was portrayed by Rolling Stone magazine was an insult to any person who has every worn a uniform," Murphy said. "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."
The pictures show Tsarnaev bloodied up and dotted with sniper rifle lights. According to the article, Murphy wanted "the world to know that the Tsarnaev in the photos he took that night...is the real face of terrorism, not the handsome, confident young man shown on the magazine cover."
"What Rolling Stone did was wrong," Murphy added. "This guy is evil. This is the real Boston bomber. "
The release of the photos had not been authorized by state police, however, and they will not be given to other news media. And according to a Tweet by the writer of the Boston Magazine article, Murphy has now been "relieved of duty."
Meanwhile, Boston Mayor Thomas Menino personally wrote to the magazine's publisher, calling the cover "ill-conceived, at best," while big chain stores, such as CVS and Walgreens, have announced that they will not stock the issue at all.
The magazine's editors issued a statement on Rolling Stone's facebook page late Wednesday, defending their choice of story and claiming support for the Boston Marathon victims.
"Our hearts go out to the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing, and our thoughts are always with them and their families," the statement said. "The cover story we are publishing this week falls within the traditions of journalism [...] The fact that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is [...] in the same age group as many of our readers makes it all the more important for us to gain a more complete understanding of how a tragedy like this happens."
There are many who remain unconvinced and furious, however. Some are even calling for a national protests against the issue, and for all copies to be bought and burnt:
(It would probably be a more effective protest if it didn't involve purchasing the magazine.)