State Police were right to relieve that sergeant of duty for releasing those photos

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It's a photo, and one of the few Rolling Stone had to choose from. It also fit the angle the author of the story was taking, what caused this seemingly normal, average kid to turn into a terrorist. Putting a photo of him on the day of the bombing, or even one of those that were just released (if they had access), isn't the slant they were taking. Nothing about that photo makes me want to go out and blow people up, even though I've always wanted to be on the cover of Rolling Stone (since seeing Almost Famous). To think otherwise is insulting the intelligence of everyone who sees it. I saw Osama Bin Laden on magazine covers. I see Whitey Bulger on TV everyday, and seen the movies loosely based on his life. That didn't make me want to go out and start a crime syndicate.

I hope this was worth losing your job over Office Murphy.


The kid bombed people in the name of a religion that values martyrs.

There are also conspiracy theorists who firmly believe these guys were innocents set up by the government to perpetuate "martial law" and the war on terror and justify the police state or some such.

These photos feed those elements - the martyr worshippers and the tin foil hats - far more than the stoned selfie on RS does. Sebastian full of arrows, as one comment put it.

I think the guy who released them was thinking "see? we shot him up good!", but was possibly ignorant of the larger implications and cultural issues images such as these feed. Not to mention potentially poisoning the jury pool and jeopardizing a federal case.

Plus, these photos don't fit

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Plus, these photos don't fit that "how did this normal-looking kid become a terrorist" angle that the article appears to be going for.

The issue of martyrdom is one thing, another is how a lot of the outrage seems to point towards this line of thinking that America's enemies must be ugly despicable monsters. A terrorist does not look like this kid, a terrorist is a dirty bearded guy wearing a turban and ululating while planting a cartoon bomb on a plane. To show him any other way (or being "shot up good", I guess) is to suggest that he's human and that his actions did come from somewhere and weren't just born in a vacuum.


I've seen several comments about this elsewhere - dim light, sniper bead, bloody hands outstretched. (it was not my initial impression, but more than a few people have gotten that impression)

Yes, a powerful image that some people see as religious and intense. Just what we need as an "antidote" to a standard-issue adolescent self portrait?

Amazing to me that a self-described "25 year veteran and professional" could have so little awareness of the potential impact of what he was doing. The utter lack of impulse control here, as evidenced by the cop's statement, boggles the mind.

Swirlygrrl Firstly he is not

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Swirlygrrl Firstly he is not a kid. He is a man. You say that Islam values martyrs. Are you saying that Christians do not? You are not serious, Right. The number of people who think the Government did this is extremely small. It is so small that it barely warrants mentioning. So do not overblow it.
You have to understand what the article is about and why people are so outraged. Because people here want everything to make complete sense. They want to be able to put everyone and everything into a tight box. They want to believe that....Asians do this. French do this. Ugly people do this, and only evil ugly unshaven guys blow people up and are evil. An extremely good looking neighbor next door (actually he is not a next door type of guy, Most men do not look like is 1 in a 100,000) Anyway he is not supposed to ever commit a murder. Now people do not know who they can trust when such a guy can do such a thing. It throws everything off for them.

Also Murphy made a huge mistake releasing the pictures. What is more serious is that he is in the State Police and he became so angry that he released the photos. He had lots of time to think about it as he went to drop them off to the reporter (i am assuming) If he cannot control himself in a situation like this what is he going to do in a more stressful situation. I feel sorry for him actually.
Lastly the reason that you state is his reason for doing it is not correct. He gave a very different reason. You have to be accurate when you are talking about matters like this which are serious and where people lost lives.

Valid points....however, I

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Valid points....however, I believe many people are visualizing Tsarnaev taping up the cover on the side of his jail cell and quietly getting a deep sense of accomplishment and satisfaction from it. A picture is worth a thousand words, even if one of them is 'monster'. And given that Rolling Stone will always be associated with youth culture and the glamorization that comes with it, and less so hard-hitting crime journalism, the offense is gut-level and visceral, sweeping aside any attempts at cerebral rationalization by ivory-tower media types. Rolling Stone had many photos to choose from - those of the hundreds of victims. This 'person' shredded innocent people to death and dismemberment. What do I need to understand about that? What 'angle' will make me understand? Such acts can never be understood.


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Tsarnaev taping up the cover on the side of his jail

Like that's going to be allowed in the supermax prison where Tsarnaev is going. I don't think Aaron Hernandez can hang anything on his wall, let alone the Marathon terrorist.

Rolling Stone has very good

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Rolling Stone has very good political coverage, which is what this article is. Maybe you only associate with the music and glamorization but a lot of people also associate it with, say, Michael Hasting's "The Runaway General." And it's hardly "cerebral rationalization by ivory-tower media types" to want to know why Tsarnaev did what he did. It's something that should and can be understood, despite your dramatics. Believe it or not, a "lone nut with guns" is not a satisfying explanation that addresses every issue.


Note that former EPA administrator Lisa Jackson was on Rolling Stone as well. The just-confirmed new EPA head, Gina McCarthy, was interviewed for that.

I remember her saying that her older teen/young adult kids considered her to be a totally cool mom as a result.

Note that neither of these rather accomplished women will ever be confused with an actress or rock star.

You have clearly

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You have clearly misunderstood me - 'cerebral rationalization by ivory-tower media types' refers to the editorial decision to go with the photo on the cover, not to write the article, which I'm sure is worthy....and I also take it you understand why this person placed a bomb behind a 8 year old boy? Please enlighten me. American foreign policy perhaps? Too much television? Frankly, who cares? Lastly, I think it's fair to say that id you ask most people on the street what kind of journalism Rolling Stone specializes in, they're not going to be thinking of Michael Hasting's "The Runaway General".

"Frankly, who cares?" Well

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"Frankly, who cares?"

Well you got me there. There's clearly no point in understanding why acts of terrorism happen because who cares. Clearly no useful information there because who cares.


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You don't want to find out why these two committed this crime? Should we just never discuss what couple have possibly motivated them to do this? "Who cares" is what you say, and I think that's foolish. I care. I'd like to know what happened. That doesn't make me sympathetic towards them, because whatever their motivation, it doesn't excuse what they did. I'm not "glorifying" anyone by wanting to know what turned them into killers. There are countless books that have been written about some really awful people, is that considered glorifying? Does it depend on what photo was used for the book cover?

I can save you a lot of time

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I can save you a lot of time on understanding a motive - here it is: 'Some perceived grievance'. To me, it doesn't really matter what that grievance is. Alienation, political revenge, jilted lover, the fact that he thinks he should have been on the cover of Rolling Stone but his guitar teacher failed him? Take your pick, but I've seen this movie before.

Unless you can prove to me someone put something in his corn flakes that made him go from a lovable pot-head to a murderer of children he couldn't even look in the eye, yes, I really don't care. What will you do with your understanding? Prevent this from happening again? We both know that's impossible.

I will not grace or validate this prick's actions by trying to understand him, because I've seen too many just like him. How much data do I need to reach a conclusion? There is nothing he can teach me, because he is just another in a long line of murderers using politics and/or religion, from Northern Ireland to Nigeria, as an excuse for his innate depravity.

Any clinical interest in his motives would only further stroke his ego and feed into his narcissism. Go ahead and examine him if your intellectual curiosity must be satisfied, but I've seen this all before and the motives are always the same - nothing more than sick sadism covered over by a fig leaf of political 'rationale'. I'll tell you what's foolish - examining the same event repeated over and over and expecting a different result.


I'm glad that people like you aren't running the world. Otherwise, we wouldn't have modern medicine because we wouldn't have prevention because we wouldn't ask the important questions that lead us to answers about why bad things happen.

Would you rather pray than go to a doctor? If not, why not? We can prevent disease by asking questions and finding out causal pathways - and that goes as much for psychological situations as it does for other pathology.

To you this seems to be a simple US versus them. A my team was hurt by those people so any irrational act that follows is THEIR fault, not ours. Always about what you believe rather than what you can explain or demonstrate - and now you want what you believe to be more important than what can be investigated, explained, demonstrated AND POSSIBLY PREVENTED as a result.

Personally, if this officer is an example of a professional veteran of the force, he shouldn't be anywhere near a gun or living off my tax money. He lacks impulse control and insight into the potential consequences of his lack of impulse control. He shouldn't be able to hide his middle-school level behavior behind a badge.

Who wants to run the world?

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Who wants to run the world? Do I not have a right to my feelings? I'm simply admitting my analysis fatigue. Those who wish to analyze are free to do so. Please spare me your 'tut-tutting' scolding self-righteousness. I'm not telling anyone what to do. But you seem to be perfectly comfortable telling me how I should feel about the matter. I was there at the finish line on Exeter Street, where I was to meet my sister my baby niece. I saw what happened. Martin Richard lived down the street from me. This is not a theoretical exercise for me. Please allow me my feelings. I have considered them very carefully since then. I am not a Neanderthal because I still have some enough blood in my veins to be outraged. My mind is not 'vast, cool and unsympathetic' like some.

I'm am not one of these types that will say, 'Well, evil can never be explained scientifically, so we must put our faith in God to help us through these tragedies, and if only we put prayer back in public school, these evil acts will never happen again'. As an avowed agnostic I think not. But neither will I say, 'There is no such thing as an evil act - all such actions can be reasonably and clinically explained, and having an explanation, we can create a vaccine that will prevent or at least minimize any acts of free will that impose violence on others'.

Forgive me, but are you really that jejune to think that this is the same as curing cancer? Do you really think someday we will be able to prevent people worldwide from wanting to kill children, regardless of motive? Believe me, there will always be a motive for humans to kill, from walking through a gated community with a hoodie to the invasion of nations.

Explaining a thing is not the same as understanding a thing. We're not talking about understanding a man who steals a loaf of bread to feed his hunger. This act is beyond my understanding, no matter how thoroughly you can 'explain' it.

I BELIEVE that I want to live in a world where these things will never happen, but as been DEMONSTRATED since the dawn of history, I am dubious.

As much as I see their point

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I have to say yes here. MSP has policies in place to prevent stuff like this happening. It's technically their picture, so they have ownership and releasing rights to it.

If this was any other murder trial or something not as high profile, I doubt people would be so supportive.

Like i said I agree, I see why he did it (in retaliation of the Rolling Stone issue) but I don't think it was a wise thing to do professionally.

I vote

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yes, the guy deserves to be punished, but no, he does not deserve to be fired.

I'm a believer in progressive discipline

As are most public employers. My guess is he won't actually be fired- at this point it's just a "leave pending investigation", right? It's really hard to fire cops, as far as I can tell. If this is the first time he's broken departmental rules, personally I don't think he should be fired for this particular alleged "speech crime".

Feeding the mob.

Well, more chum for the media sharks. Hopefully I will be seeing this idiot handing out tickets at the limo pool soon, as I don't think he'll be taking pics for the MSP anymore.

You'll likely see him hired as private security...

...that is if he ends up losing his job.

My prediction is that a private business will hire him as director of security, and will bask in the PR that they receive from doing that. But his new job won't be in Massachusetts. Just a hunch.

Tainting the jury pool?

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I am not a lawyer and this is pure speculation, but I remember authorities saying that a lot of materials - photographic evidence from the blast sites and such - are being withheld so that the first time a potential jury member sees such photos will be in the jury box during Tsarnaev's trial, keeping the jury as "pure" and impartial as they could be in such a trial. Perhaps the State Police and the prosecution team had a policy to not release these photos for the same reason.

If that is true, then this is an issue more than just Sergeant Murphy disregarding orders, it increases the seriousness of his actions to doing harm to the Government's case against Tsarnaev.

(One might argue that these images won't do much to taint a potential juror - and that argument may be correct - but why give the defense attorneys a single inch when it comes to jury selection or anything else in regards to evidence. These photos show Tsarnaev in the same Adidas sweater that he was photographed in the gas station surveillance photos.)


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That Rolling Stone photo was OUTRAGEOUS! We are OUTRAGED!

Outrage of the day....

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People just love to be outraged these days. This will last until the next faux-controversy. Maybe another Patriots scandal? Who knows, but people will then be outraged about something new...

Exactly right

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Had this story not been picked up by the Globe, WEEI, etc and people focused on the article, there would be no "outrage". We may be in luck though, Obama just spoke on the Zimmerman trial, maybe the outrage will shift back to that issue.

Boston Magazine? WTF?

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I'm curious about the choice of media. I mean, Boston Magazine is to Boston what Rolling Stone is to America--a relic from a distant generation. Both are as irrelevant as the phone books that hit our doorsteps annually, on their way to recycle.

Why Boston Magazine?

Photo in the Globe makes Tsarnaev look like the victim

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The Commonwealth cop (we're still not a state right?) made a poor choice of what photo to release. The photo I saw in the Globe makes Tsarnaev look like he is the victim and the state (in the guise of a red laser light) is the oppressor.

The RS photo is the perfect photo. It shouts out the question of how can a sweet looking kid turn so bad. I believe that answer is obvious: The former has nothing to the do with the latter. I believe that the RS photo reveals that at least many Massachusetts residents base judgements on appearances.

Isn't part of the problem of Goerge Zimmerman's moral, if not legal, guilt? If Trayvon Martin appeared to be white instead of black would Zimmerman have responded to the same behavior with violence?

If I break a policy at work

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I get reprimanded up to and including termination. Simple as that.

I’m fine that he released it. I don’t even think what he did was wrong. But it is amusing to see so many conservatives outraged that actions have consequences, and that personal responsibility and accountability is being upheld. Deal with it, as I’m sure officer Murphy figured he would have.


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So if you are against the Rolling Stone cover you're a conservative? If you aren't, then you're a liberal? That's a bit of a stretch.

Not a all

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but I do think listening to the AM radio the past few days has put me in a bad mood. Not all Conservatives jumped on these stories, but these stories were parroted out by quite a few conservatives (with laments of liberal medias and liberal politicians to boot).

The radio was laughably predictable, while equally irrational. This time the tribalism went across party lines a bit more. But the echo chamber media alliance caught hold and dialed it up to 11.

It's about trust

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The police handle personal and sensitive materials all the time, and they have a responsibility to handle private materials with care. Cops get fired all the time for doing stuff like looking up celebrities' personal data using police systems and databases, because the police have access to a great deal of private and confidential information and individual officers are supposed to handle that responsibly. This is especially a big deal because police are often involved in trials, so trust and confidentiality are doubly important.

Regardless of the actual harm caused, the photos were the property of the police department and it was his job to handle them according to the department's policies. Now that he's leaked these pictures, can he be trusted not to leak again? What happens the next time he works on a high-profile case? Are his bosses going to have to worry and fret that every photo he takes might be released to the media? His actions reflect poorly on himself and his department, and taking a big risk like this because he thinks a celebrity villain isn't being demonized enough reflects badly on his judgement too.

If they can't trust him to

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If they can't trust him to control himself with a camera, how can they trust his "outrage" with a gun???

The outrage here should be on

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The outrage here should be on the other things in the poster boy's bag of tricks. The family gets asylum, welfare and whatever other government benefits , educational assistance. The payback is a grand thing , the mater defaults on shop lifting charges , where she had the opportunity to defend herself, skips the country no less, and her spawn, somehow disgruntled at our system that nourished and sheltered them ,annihilate a public event, killing and maiming innocent people. Then a smug hipster publication, under the guise of exploring some hocus pocus angle of inteligentsia depth, or the world will stop spinning , put up a pretty boy picture. And some poor cop, that couldnt control his urges to react, releases the other real world pictures. And the outcry is fire , punish , o woe is us , this isnt right bologna. People died, lost limbs and worse. Think of them. there is not one ounce of anything that interests me about poster boy, and leave the cop alone.


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I'm outraged that both the family got all this support from our tax dollars AND that a cop has been getting paid from our tax dollars for 25 years and yet he lacks the maturity to stop himself from acting like a spoiled brat in a junior high clique and throwing a tantrum over something trivial.

I want my money back in both cases.

I'm outraged

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that Boston Magazine has no sense of ethics and printed those photographs that were not meant for public consumption.

But, I guess anything goes in journalism, no matter how sleazy, if management figures can make an extra dollar or two in profits. Even though their actions exactly fit the definition of insider trading - which is illegal in every other industry.

The only thing is more outrageous is that, when the media gets caught in such self-serving behavior, they then hide behind the First Amendment to defend their questionable actions.


...almost all of the points you make about the accused and his family were made in the Rolling Stone article, too. It's a shame more people won't be able to read it because of some people's unbridled urge to censor.

Dude The magazine is

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Dude The magazine is available. By censoring , do you mean the response of some stores not to carry it ? Some people are offended , some are not. That was a business decision by the stores so as not to offend their customers that they thought would be offended. Just as the magazine made a business decision to use that picture and print that story. The magazine maybe grabbed some readers that wouldnt normally buy it.And they lost some outlets doing it.

Yes, censorship.

If a retailer tells me that, because if its content, I shouldn't be able to buy and read something they're normally perfectly willing to sell, it's censorship, whether it's for business reasons or ideological reasons.

Well , hard choice then,

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Well , hard choice then, placate you , or offend me. That's life I guess . Sometimes it's tough clams. You can still get it somewhere else, or I could always shop somewhere else. But me and the brothers go back a while , when they only had one store, so I am safe there. But don't worry, the tide is flowing your way , you will be ok.

That's exactly the point.

If you're offended by the Rolling Stone cover, just don't buy the magazine. I'm not trying to impact your choices in any way, shape, or form. CVS, Tedeschi, et. al., are stifling speech and limiting people's access to content.

The Constitution protects speech, not your desire to avoid being offended.

Dude , your argument is with

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Dude , your argument is with the vendors. nobody is denying you access, just not facilitating it.

The First Amendment states, in relevant part, that:

“Congress shall make no law...abridging freedom of speech.”

No one is stopping the magazine from printing its issue, just some vendors are exercising their right not to distribute it. If you don't agree with said vendors , you have the right to not patronize those stores . Emptor aliunde eat