You may have already heard about the case of Cameron D’Ambrosio (or Cammy Dee). D’Ambrosio, an 18-year old student, was arrested by police in Methuen after he posted some rap lyrics he had written that referenced the Boston marathon bombings on his Facebook page. He has been charged as a terrorist and been held without bail.
These are the lyrics Cameron posted:
I’m not in reality, So when u see me (expletive) go insane and make the news, the paper, and the (expletive) federal house of horror known as the white house, Don’t (expletive) cry or be worried because all YOU people (expletive) caused this (expletive).
(Expletive) a boston bominb wait till u see the (expletive) I do, I’ma be famous rapping, and beat every murder charge that comes across me!”
It should be pretty obvious that these lyrics were not intended to be a threat. As Tim Cushing of the blog Techdirt observes:
When I reread his words, I don’t find him threatening to kill anyone. He says he’ll “go insane” and make “the news, the paper, the (expletive) federal house of horror the White House.” “Go insane” is not the same thing as threatening violence and its takes a lot of willingness to see something that’s not actually there to believe it does. Sure, D’Ambrosio mentions both the White House and the Boston bombing, but simply throwing those words into a sentence (and filling the rest out with expletives) doesn’t turn this into a credible threat, or at least not one that should result in a 20-year sentence.
By all means, the police should be willing to investigate perceived threats, but putting this into context (your average profane, overdramatic, attention-seeking, rap fan teenager) should have resulted in little more than a discussion about the possibility that word dumps like this could have negative consequences or legal repercussions.
Earlier today, D’Ambrosio was finally given a court hearing to determine whether or not he could post bail and be freed from jail.
Several free speech advocates went to the courthouse where D’Ambrosio’s hearing was taking place to stage a small protest. They were asked to leave even though they had every right to be there. They complied anyway, but were then harassed again by officers of the Salem Police Department. You can see video here:
If you’d like to contact the Salem Police Department to demand that they stop harassing free speech activists, I’ve included their contact information below:
- Business 978-744-0171
- Non-Emergency Request for Police 978-744-1212
You should also click here and sign the petition to get Cameron D’Ambrosio’s ridiculous charges dropped.
Update (same day as the original post): I just got the following additional information from the person who uploaded the videos (via Twitter): “there were only 2 activists present w/ only 1 of whom stood on the forbidden sidewalk vs 6 pd & the Sargent returned to complain about being filmed w/o consent & threatened to take the camera.” Apparently the Sergeant has never heard of Simon Glik.