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New photos of Boston bombing arrest spark controversy

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

A US policeman was suspended after releasing photographs he took the day Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was captured, fueling the media controversy over the teen charged with terrorism.

Sergeant Sean Murphy, a tactical photographer for the Massachusetts State Police, said it was important to show these images to counter the one on the cover of this month's Rolling Stone, featuring a goateed Tsarnaev staring sadly at the camera with tousled brown curly hair.

Versions of the Rolling Stone cover photo have previously been reproduced by other outlets, but this use of the image has offended many in a country still shocked by the carnage at this year's Boston Marathon.

Murphy's photos, published in Boston Magazine Thursday, depict a weakened and bloody Tsarnaev, a sniper's laser sight visible on his forehead, exiting the boat where he hid from police for nearly a day.

There is also a sniper's-eye view of of the boat, and several more of the teams of policemen and officials who worked for hours to find and arrest the 19-year-old.

In a statement to Boston magazine, Murphy said that "what Rolling Stone did was wrong. This guy is evil. This is the real Boston bomber. Not someone fluffed and buffed for the cover of Rolling Stone magazine."

The officer, who emphasized he was not speaking on behalf of the state police, said the bombing and arrest operation were deadly, and the magazine cover and article were "glamorizing the face of terror."

The treatment risked enticing future "unstable" people "to do something to get their face on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine," he added.

A spokesman for federal prosecutors said the publication of Murphy's photos was "completely unacceptable."

"We have spoken with the Massachusetts State Police, who have assured us that the release of the photos was unauthorized and that they are taking action internally in response," added Christina Dilorio-Sterling.

The Massachusetts State Police said Murphy had been suspended, pending an internal investigation,

The Rolling Stones article, titled "The Bomber," was described by the magazine as a "deeply reported account of the life and times" of Tsarnaev.

The 12-page story is based on interviews with dozens of sources that "deliver a riveting and heartbreaking account of how a charming kid with a bright future became a monster," it said.

Tsarnaev faces a 30-count indictment -- including 17 counts punishable by death -- for his role in the April 15 twin blasts at the city's marathon that killed three people and wounded more than 260.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130719/new-photos-boston-bombing-arrest-spark-controversy