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Police Sergeant Who Released Tsarnaev Photos Placed on Restricted Duty

Police Sergeant Who Released Tsarnaev Photos Placed on Restricted Duty

Massachusetts State Police Sgt. Sean Murphy was placed on restricted duty today, after he released photos of the capture of Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to a magazine in protest of the recent Rolling Stone cover.

From Boston Magazine:

Sgt. Sean P. Murphy, the 25-year veteran of the Massachusetts State Police who gave Boston magazine hundreds of behind-the-scenes photos of the Dzhokhar Tsarnaev manhunt, has been placed on restricted duty pending an investigation, the result of a hearing earlier today at the state police headquarters in Framingham.

Asked whether Murphy would be fired, State Police Colonel Timothy Alben was pretty clear: “I’m the colonel of the Massachusetts State Police, and I’m going to say it’s not a realistic option.” Alben went on to call Murphy’s actions “disappointing” based on his “blemish”-free record during his time serving with the department.

“Sean has been an exemplary employee here. He’s a man of character, he’s a man of honor, and has given a great deal to this organization…[But] we cannot afford to let pretrial publicity impede this prosecution or any others we are involved in,” said Alben. “And no one should be making decisions unilaterally about what information should be shared, and what should not.”

There were concerns from some that the release of Murphy’s photos could have an impact on the trial of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who has pleaded not guilty to the charges against him.   From

Rosanna Cavallaro, a professor at Suffolk University Law School, said the leak will exacerbate what is already a major problem: how to empanel a jury that has not seen or formed judgments about the case based on media coverage and photos.

But, she said, these particular photos will not transform the case, since there are already concerns about whether Tsarnaev can get a fair trial anywhere, let alone in Boston.

Murphy’s attorney however said he didn’t believe the photos would affect the investigation or trial, according to Boston Magazine.

But his attorney, Leonard Kesten, addressed the media afterward and said the notion that releasing the photos would impact the investigation is “preposterous,” adding that the general public has already seen video and live footage from Tsarnaev’s arrest. “It’s not going to affect the trial. Sergeant Murphy wouldn’t have done anything to damage the prosecution of [Tsarnaev].”

Murphy’s 19 year old son told reporters that he supports his dad’s decision, saying, “Throughout this process, he has shown the characteristics that I hope to someday model myself after. If I could be one-fourth of the man he is now, I’ll be more than happy with my life. I will support him 100 percent. I couldn’t be prouder of him.”

The family of slain MIT police officer Sean Collier has also spoken out in support of Murphy.

A number of petitions and Facebook pages have popped up in support of Sgt. Murphy, including a Facebook page titled Save Sgt. Sean Murphy Rolling Stone True Pictures, which had over 62,000 “likes” at the time of this writing.



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While I understand the need to apply some sort of punishment, there needs to be some push back against the liberal media machine.

    Juba Doobai! in reply to ironghost. | July 23, 2013 at 11:49 pm

    No, I don’t understand the need to punish a man with an excellent record, a man who was merely correcting Rolling Stones’s glamorized image of a terrorist mass murderer, for showing pictures that have already been seen by the public.

    It’s ridiculous.

Carol Herman | July 23, 2013 at 9:30 pm

Murdering people, and maiming them, should become another American cooking show.

That this creepy kid can’t get a fair trial is a joke onto the justice system, itself.

Carol Herman | July 23, 2013 at 9:31 pm

Oh, for want of a title, the cooking show could be called “Don’t Throw Out Grandma’s Pressure Cooker.”

What difference does it make regarding a “fair” trial when it appears to be an open and shut case.

Personally, I would have been pleased if the little twerp was sent to Gitmo and tried there…

I salute Sgt. Murphy and wish him the best. It is a shame that for telling the truth he will be punished but I’m betting he knew what was coming and released the photos anyway. It takes someone with character to do that.

Carol Herman | July 24, 2013 at 12:51 am

Remember Sgt. Crowley from the Cambridge Police Force? After the “beer summit” his name never appears again. Because propaganda artists are in charge of what was once considered media. Journa-losem.

I feel for this guy. Decent cop. Horrible upper echelon, though.

Restricted duty??? He should be given a medal and a promotion.

The media can lie put out false pictures of a monster, but if you try to correct it, and put out a real picture of the monster, you get reprimanded. Life in our new Obamaworld.

I’m surprised Obama hasn’t come out to say this police officer was wrong, Just like George Zimmerman and “little Trayvon Martin”

” ..placed on restricted duty pending an investigation..”
What investigation is needed? He admits to releasing the photos. He even states his motive.