One of the photos Massachusetts cop Sean Murphy leaked to Boston Magazine, of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev surrendering to authorities. (Source: Reuters)
In the fallout of the Rolling Stone debacle, there were many people who were angered by the appearance of surviving Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in the style of the magazine's famous cover of Doors frontman Jim Morrison. One particular person was Massachusetts State Police Sergeant Sean Murphy. He felt, like many who were in some way involved with the bombing, that the Rolling Stone cover sugarcoated Tsarnaev's existence as a misunderstood criminal, and wanted to counter it. So, as someone with his stature, Sgt. Murphy decided to leak photos of Tsarnaev's capture to Boston Magazine, as a way to frame him as a criminal.
There was just one problem with that: Said photos were possibly federal evidence for use in Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's upcoming trial. After going public with the leak, Massachusetts State Police moved swiftly to punish Sgt. Murphy. He was placed on a one-day unpaid suspension immediately after the revelation. Now, he has been restricted to desk duty by the MSP. With that, he is no longer allowed to contact the public with any information in his capacity as a police officer. He will remain on desk duty until a further investigation is completed and punishment meted. In addition to possibly serving as evidence, some attorneys questioned the release of the photos, saying that Sgt. Murphy's comments and the release of the photos may have an impact on jury selection, citing government bias.
There might be some relevance to the claim: Boston Magazine has a pretty high circulation in the Boston area, numbering more than 90,000 in subscriptions and more than half a million in total print circulation. Still, the images, as one example is shown above, are not the greatest in terms of quality, simply because of the low-light situation. Also, there's the reasoning behind Murphy's move: If he wanted to go after someone for idolizing Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, why not go after his fawning fanbase, which probably secretly number in the millions, rather than some run-down, sort of useless biweekly culture magazine that was clearly posting this cover as a form of publicity stunt/plea for attention?