Director’s Corner: Boston Marathon Bomber Handcuffs Donated to Museum

The Museum received a significant artifact during National Police Week this year. On May 12, Chief Paul MacMillan, of the MBTA Transit Police Department, presented Museum staff with the handcuffs used to restrain Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the surviving brother of the duo identified as suspects in the April 15, 2013 Boston Marathon bombing. (Pictured left: Museum Executive Director Joe Urschel, MBTA Transit Police Chief Paul MacMillan, Memorial Fund Chairman & CEO Craig W. Floyd.)

According to Chief MacMillan, the cuffs belonged to Transit Police Officer Saro Thompson, who, together with a multi-jurisdictional SWAT team—including officers from the Revere and Malden (MA) Police Departments—restrained and arrested Tsarnaev three days after the bombing, on April 18.

Earlier that day, the Tsarnaev brothers were suspected of ambushing and killing MIT Patrol Officer Sean Collier, parked on the university’s campus. Chief MacMillan noted that the suspects tried several times to remove Collier’s gun from its holster, one that was specially designed to resist attempts to “snatch” a weapon from an officer. The fact that the Tsarnaev brothers were unable to steal Officer Collier’s weapon, due to the holster he used, probably saved many lives.

Officer Sean Collier’s name was among the 286 that were added to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial this year during the 26th annual Candlelight Vigil.