The two men featured prominently on the cover of the New York Post shortly after the Boston Marathon bombings are suing the paper for falsely portraying them as suspects.
The lawsuit accuses the Post of libel, negligent infliction of emotional distress, and invasion of privacy, The Globe reported. Barhoum and Zaimi are seeking monetary compensation.
Salaheddin Barhoum, a 16-year-old high school student, and Yassine Zaimi, a 24-year-old college student, were cleared by investigators. The Post apparently found the photo in an email that circulated among law enforcement officials, who were likely checking out dozens — if not hundreds — of leads in the aftermath of the bombing.
Media critics, including the Columbia Journalism Review’s Ryan Chittum and The Washington Post’s Erik Wemple, criticised the Post for reckless journalism. Barhoum told ABC News that seeing his face on the front page of the Post under that headline was “the worst feeling that I can possibly feel… I’m only 17.”
But the Post stood by its story. Editor-in-Chief Col Allan said in a statement to The Huffington Post: “The image was emailed to law enforcement agencies yesterday afternoon seeking information about these men, as our story reported. We did not identify them as suspects.” Allan declined to comment to The Boston Globe on Wednesday.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.