Should Boston Globe Have Disclosed Officer Names In Marathon Probe?


The Boston Globe’s decision to publish the names of the FBI agent and State Police troopers involved in the Florida shooting death of Ibragim Todashev, the associate of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev who was suspected of being involved in a triple murder in Waltham, Ma., is explored by WGBH television and radio in Boston. The Globe story reported that FBI agent Aaron McFarlane is a former Oakland police officer with a troubling past. It raises serious questions about how law enforcement handled the investigation of perhaps the single most important figure connected to the Boston Marathon bombing suspects.

The three law enforcers have been cleared by investigators, and the matter is no longer pending. WGBH says, “Police officers are doing the public’s business, and we have a right to know as much information as possible about serious matters such as the Todashev shooting.” Noting that the names had appeared on another website, WGBH says, “Whatever calculation Globe editors might have made if this had occurred 20 years ago, it is simply a reality that a mainstream news organization can no longer act as a gatekeeper to prevent the public from learning information that it can find out elsewhere. This change doesn’t call for lower standards, but it does call for different standards.” The Globe itself noted that Florida officials had not released the officers’ names, citing concerns for their safety.”

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