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MA Teen Arrested And Held Without Bail For Posting Supposed 'Terrorist Threat' On Facebook

from the being-a-lousy-rapper-still-not-a-crime dept

I’m going to take a guess and say the national Terrorism Mood Ring is still set to ‘OVERREACT’ if this story is any indication. Cameron D’Ambrosio, a Methuen, MA high school student, was arrested May 1st and charged with “communicating terroristic threats” based on a Facebook posting. He is being held without bail pending a hearing on May 9th and could face up to 20 years in jail for making a “bomb threat.”

The threat (at least the one that appeared on Facebook), as reported by the Boston Herald, reads as follows. (For best results, fill in the blanks Mad Libs-style and spell “bombing” correctly.)

“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!”

This was posted to D’Ambrosio’s Facebook page, which looks altogether similar to thousands of teens’ Facebook pages. (Source: I am the parent of a teenager.) Also, like thousands of Facebook-using teens, D’Ambrosio fancies himself a rapper and his “threat” appears to be nothing more than some “lyrics” in search of a quality jeep beat. (I’m dating myself with that last term.)

So, how does some par-for-the-course teenage Facebook post become a “threat?” Well, it takes a very specific chain of events. The official Methuen PD blog breaks it all down (and throws a lot of exclamation points around in its headlines for some strange reason).

Today, Tuesday, May 1, 2013, at approximately 12:20, Methuen High School students reported to administration that they had received a Facebook phone message sent by a Methuen High School student with disturbing verbiage. The student made terrorist threats…

The administration acted quickly, contacted school service officer Jim Mellor, who then contacted the police department. The student was not in school but has since been located and placed under arrest. Administration working hand in hand with the Methuen Police Department, diffused the situation maintaining the best possible professional attitude.

In other words, some teens at the high school saw a status update posted by D’Ambrosio and told someone… who told someone. The rest is now hysteria history.

The PD arrested the student, charged him with “communicating terrorist threats” and locked him up pending a “dangerousness” hearing. But was it really a threat? Or was it just D’Ambrosio doing what teens do best — attracting negative attention? That ellipsis in the quotation from the PD’s blog takes the place of a sentence which seems to indicate this entire chain of events should never have happened.

These threats were in general and not directed towards another person or the school.

Non-specific threats are a bit problematic. There generally needs to be more going on than a Facebook post that indiscriminately “threatens” everyone who’s able to read it. If it was targeted at specific people, perhaps it would be a more credible threat. (D’Ambrosio can target his threats. According to the Boston Herald, he was charged last year with threatening to stab his sister to death, but the case has been dismissed. Read into that what you will…)

Then there’s the wording itself that, when taken in context with D’Ambrosio’s rap aspirations, tends to indicate this is simply poorly-worded braggadocio aimed at touting his “skills.” The second “stanza” (?) even says “I’ma be famous rapping, and beat every murder charge that comes across me!” This makes the preceding line read more like “I’m going to be bigger than the Boston Bombing,” not altogether unlike John Lennon’s proclamation that the Beatles were bigger than Jesus. Again, rap is full of this sort of self-aggrandizement and D’Ambrosio certainly listened to enough of the music to pick up the basics.

The opening “stanza” starts with “I’m not in reality,” another commonality of rap music. Eminem used this as a defense against criticism, stating that Eminem was an alter ego and was far more outrageous than he, Marshall Mathers, was. “It’s all an act,” in other words. Stating “I’m not in reality” up front should temper any expectations of literality in what follows it. Of course, this rationalizing grants D’Ambrosio additional depth that he may not actually possess. Even so, anyone with a passing knowledge of the art form would know enough to steal a little “depth.”

Despite all this, the Methuen police chief seems rather proud of his catch. A rather breathless writeup at The Valley Patriot captures some rather ridiculous quotes from the man of the hour.

“He posted a threat in the form of rap where he mentioned the White House, the Boston Marathon bombing, and said ‘everybody you will see what I am going to do, kill people.”

If it was in the “form of a rap,” there’s a good chance this is protected speech, rather than a criminal act. Police chief Joe Solomon isn’t helping his case by framing D’Ambrosio’s words this way.

“I do want to make clear he did not make a specific threat against the school or any particular individuals but he did threaten to kill a bunch of people and specifically mentioned the Boston Marathon and the White House. The threat was disturbing enough for us to act and I think our officers did the right thing.”

Strange. 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.

The police also went to his home and seized D’Ambrosio’s Xbox and laptop, but were apparently unable to find anything to indicate the teenager was anything more than a mouthy misanthrope. So, they’ve decided to “dig deeper into his Facebook account.”

Tom Duggan, president and publisher of The Valley Patriot, dug a little deeper himself, and reported back (breathlessly) about the “horrors” he found. (All quotes are verbatim, I shit you not.)

D’Ambrosio also had disturbing photos and posts on his Facebook page including “Fuck politics, Fuck Obama and Fuck the government!!”

He also had a “disturbing satanic photo posted as well as a photo of himself on a “Wanted Poster” that reads “Wanted Dead or Alive” a quick perusal of his Facebook page shows D’Ambrosio’s unusual interest in gangs, violence and a criminal lifestyle.

Wow. It’s like reading a report from Morality in Media. A teen who wants to stick it to the Man with f-bombs and exclamation points? Do tell! An “unusual” interest in gangs, violence and criminals? Does this make him more or less disturbing than a large majority of the teen population? Looking at his page, I notice D’Ambrosio also has an “unusual” interest in scantily-clad females, video games, Monsters University, puppies, “Fuck Drugs Enjoy Life,” the National Guard, tattoos and Mario. And as for the whole “disturbing satanic photo” — a.) Duggan is about 30 years too late to join the satanic panic, b.) the “photo” isn’t actually a photo and c.) it’s at least as comical as it is disturbing.

So, unless the police are holding some information back, it looks as if they’ve managed to turn a harmless bout of stupidity into a terrorist threat. Chief Solomon even credits the “see something, say something” travesty for helping the MPD corral this dangerous rapper. But while we’re used to displays of immaturity from the young, there’s no excusing the dangerous stupidity of zero tolerance policies, “see something, say something” and the police department’s willingness to conjure up a threat out of little more than the use of “Boston” in a badly formed sentence.

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Comments on “MA Teen Arrested And Held Without Bail For Posting Supposed 'Terrorist Threat' On Facebook”

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92 Comments
Wally (profile) says:

Re: Re:

The simple problem is that domestic terrorists here in the US are really that stupid to write their memoirs and intentions before committing your acts….even at the simplest levels of being a criminal…most of them brag about it on social media…granted this is probably the third or fourth foreign terrorist attack on US soil we’ve had. Boston Marathon, 9/11, New York Subway, World Trade Center parking lot, and War of 1812.

The simple issue with us here in the states is that unlike Brazil, a lot of these acts are done because the people committing the acts have no political agenda, have been brain washed, or are zealots to a false preaching (nowhere in the entire Koran…is 72 virgins ever mentioned if you kill people)….So you see, people only attack us out of the hatred for our ideals, or the false belief that beautiful women await them. You guys are lucky down there because it is mostly political..the people that attack here are generally certified crazy.

Anonymous Coward says:

This is an organizers' meeting...

This is an organizers’ meeting. We have had quite a few members here today which are?we have hundreds, hundreds of members throughout the State of Ohio. I can quote from a newspaper clipping from the Columbus, Ohio Dispatch, five weeks ago Sunday morning. The Klan has more members in the State of Ohio than does any other organization. We’re not a revengent organization, but if our President, our Congress, our Supreme Court, continues to suppress the white, Caucasian race, it’s possible that there might have to be some revengeance taken.

We are marching on Congress July the Fourth, four hundred thousand strong. From there we are dividing into two groups, one group to march on St. Augustine, Florida, the other group to march into Mississippi. Thank you.

??????? ?? Brandenburg v Ohio (1969)

Lee says:

Re: This is an organizers' meeting...

Are you seriously shilling for the Klan? Holy mackerel! You guys are so 19th century. Do you really want to couch this as a move against pretty white faces (as if being an Albino was an accomplishment).

Your selfish, self-centered answers to your own problems of an empty worthless life no longer have the power to move the youth of this nation. Give it up. The planet is changing and you are stuck in the pleistocene era (look it up).

out_of_the_blue says:

Minion, don't throw "moral panics" bit into actual police actions.

Morality good or bad has nothing to do with the instant case, that’s just one of Techdirt’s continuing themes that are shoehorned in everywhere.

This is tyranny, plain and simple, because “pre-crime” suppression of mere words.

Wally (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Well when people are stupid enough to actually brag about/admit to crimes they have committed on social media, I would say that it is particularly effective.

Mind you this case mentioned in the article does not apply here. This kid was trying to be a hardcore rapper (and yes my definition of rapping is being able to rhyme with rhythm….I was born in the 1980’s just deal with it).

This case is simple….a guy who wanted to be larger than life finally got his wish….in the worst way possible.

?Fuck politics, Fuck Obama and Fuck the government!!?

-So says everyone right now.

Curiously enough we did have warnings about Boston from the Russian Federation and the brothers’ own mother. Maybe he was rapping his frustration that we had 100% proof positive warning and knew about it.

typical teenager he may be and I honestly do believe this was a major overreaction. Let us hope and pray that he is under 18 so that his juvenile records from being suspected of terrorism don’t shroud his future in darkness.

silverscarcat says:

Re: sums it up

that terrorist? that’s me every Tuesday.

So, do you go to remote Chinese villages and torch them to the ground, save for a young girl who will grow up with a thirst for vengeance and come after you so you can tell her that it was just a Tuesday for you?

Then remind her that you killed your father as well, but you’re not whining about it.

Anonymous Coward says:

The first man I want to get in my sights is L. B. J.

They always holler at us to get an education. And now I have already received my draft classification as 1-A and I have got to report for my physical this Monday coming. I am not going. If they ever make me carry a rifle the first man I want to get in my sights is L. B. J.

???????? ?? Watts v United States (1969)

Wally (profile) says:

The kid has some very high aspirations…but some very fundamental psychological problems as well. It is sort of hard to tell though because I am 27 years old and not used to the modern teenage mentality any more. It is possible this whole issue springs from a generational gap..but then again teenagers do and say stupid things on a frequent basis…so I am not entirely surprised at this kid’s attitude.

Funny thing is that I remember situations like this right after 9/11 and they did not die down until 6 months later Mr. Cushing….so I understand your frustration 🙂

Jay (profile) says:

Sarcasm activated

It feels so much safer to know that this terrorist is off the streets. The same with the communists, anarchists, and patriots that the FBI pursues so long and hard to keep America safe.

It feels so good knowing that this citizen who has a warm bed in a prison cell with other people for the crime of speaking out while ignoring the real crimes that people could commit such as robbing the nation blind through copyrights, patents, and tradmarks, working diligently to do nothing to help the nation prosper and countering the austerity campaign of those that only believe in their own reality.

It’s just a fact that this kid’s thought crimes were so heinous that murdering the English language deserves a police/nanny state response where it’s for your own good.

So cheer up Bostonians! You’ve just experienced how fragile your civil rights are in a time of 9/11 where rappers are your worst enemy, you need a gun in every school, and the government can’t solve real problems while manufacturing terrorists out of your citizenry.

I feel safer already…

Anonymous Coward says:

Shoot, if they go for him again, I hope they get him

On March 30, 1981, McPherson and some fellow employees heard on an office radio that there had been an attempt to assassinate the President of the United States. Upon hearing that report, McPherson engaged a co-worker, Lawrence Jackson, who was apparently her boyfriend, in a brief conversation, which according to McPherson’s uncontroverted testimony went as follows:

“Q: What did you say?

“A: I said I felt that that would happen sooner or later.

“Q: Okay. And what did Lawrence say?

“A: Lawrence said, yeah, agreeing with me.

“Q: Okay. Now, when you – after Lawrence spoke, then what was your next comment?

“A: Well, we were talking – it’s a wonder why they did that. I felt like it would be a black person that did that, because I feel like most of my kind is on welfare and CETA, and they use medicaid, and at the time, I was thinking that’s what it was.

“. . . But then after I said that, and then Lawrence said, yeah, he’s cutting back medicaid and food stamps. And I said, yeah, welfare and CETA. I said, shoot, if they go for him again, I hope they get him.”

?????????? ?? Rankin v McPherson (1987)

Anonymous Coward says:

We'll take the fucking street again

The sheriff heard Hess utter the word “fuck” in what he later described as a loud voice and immediately arrested him on the disorderly conduct charge. It was later stipulated that what appellant had said was “We’ll take the fucking street later,” or “We’ll take the fucking street again.” Two witnesses who were in the immediate vicinity testified, apparently without contradiction, that they heard Hess’ words and witnessed his arrest. They indicated that Hess did not appear to be exhorting the crowd to go back into the street, that he was facing the crowd and not the street when he uttered the statement, that his statement did not appear to be addressed to any particular person or group, and that his tone, although loud, was no louder than that of the other people in the area.

?????????? ?? Hess v Indiana (1973)

Anonymous Coward says:

Who said anything about giving up my right to have my guns? And no, I am not at all scared. Pro-gun arguments always seem to go straight to “its not the guns that hurt people, its the people who have guns that do” so well? Do you think a wannabe rapper with that miss-guided attitude be allowed to own a gun?
I think I read up there that he also plays video games…now-a-days its a sure sign of trouble just waiting for opportunity.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Yes, a “wannabe rapper” that has a “miss-guided” attitude should be able to own a gun.

Are you saying that rappers should not be able to own guns? What about people that make death metal or punk music?

To you he seems “miss-guided,” however, I’m sure you seem “miss-guided” to some people as well. Is that a good reason to not allow you the right to gun ownership?

The sure sign of trouble is that people turn to the government to take away their rights because they are dependent upon an illusion (government) and not self aware and sufficient individuals.

Anonymous Coward says:

We're gonna break your damn neck.

On April 21, Evers gave another speech to several hundred people, in which he again called for a discharge of the police force and for a total boycott of all white-owned businesses in Claiborne County. Although this speech was not recorded, the chancellor found that Evers stated: “If we catch any of you going in any of them racist stores, we’re gonna break your damn neck.”

???? ?????? ?? NAACP v Claiborne Hardware (1982)

Not That Chris (profile) says:

Not to be completely off topic...

but what is the deal lately with people misusing defused/diffused? And yes, I know it’s not Tim misusing it, it’s the blotter. Probably should include a [sic] though.

Administration working hand in hand with the Methuen Police Department, diffused the situation maintaining the best possible professional attitude.

So they spread the situation out? Sound like that would make it worse!

I’m not sure if I’ve just started noticing it, or if people have been doing it to try and avoid using the term “defused” since it’s somewhat associated with bombs (Note: I am not threatening to bomb anything by including the word “bomb” in my post.)(Note 2: Same thing about the other 2 uses in the first note.)

It’s slowly approaching lose/loose levels of annoyance.

Votre (profile) says:

Well… I guess you have to do something to justify all that money for equipment, training and nifty ninja uniforms the DHS is doling out to police forces everywhere. Mix that with a healthy dose of testosterone, and that genuine desire “to make a difference” that motivates many of those who elect to join our police forces, and you have a sun just waiting to go nova.

That’s the problem with things like this. They’re put in place as a preventative measure. But all too often they take on a life of their own and begin to manufacture situations to justify their continued existence as well as argue for an expansion of scope.

Violated (profile) says:

Teens...

Wow I have never seen someone use their facebook page as their own personal FAP site before but that is teenagers for you.

After reading what he wrote then I am not surprised that people wanted to talk to him even if just to point out he can only say “fuck the Government” so many times and in so many ways before the Feds start knocking on your door.

I can’t blame them for arresting him when after the Boston Bombings they will be extremely keen to avoid any copy cat events where they will certainly strike against any perceived threats.

With that said then after a virtual slapping to scare him then they should let this mostly harmless teenager go under some strict warnings.

My greatest concern in all this is that they will overreact where I am sure in holding him under terrorist laws he has been denied access to a lawyer who would simply tell him to shut his teen mouth and to take the fifth. As a result they may want to provoke him into saying things no wiser person would like “he will kill them all” and “he fucked their mothers”

So while his initial FB rant provided no specific threats towards anyone they may use these days to guide him into damning himself. I can only then hope the Judge recognizes his big bad teen mouth and complete lack of offence weapons.

Anonymous Coward says:

Fuck politics, Fuck Obama and Fuck the government!!

Fuck

On April 26, 1968, the defendant was observed in the Los Angeles County Courthouse in the corridor outside of division 20 of the municipal court wearing a jacket bearing the words `Fuck the Draft’ which were plainly visible. There were women and children present in the corridor. The defendant was arrested. The defendant testified that he wore the jacket knowing that the words were on the jacket as a means of informing the public of the depth of his feelings against the Vietnam War and the draft.

????? ????? ?? Cohen v California (1971)

Anonymous Coward says:

We can stand a person like this S. O. B. against the wall and shoot him

The witness recalled a similar intemperate remark by the petitioner during a meeting in 1947:

“Lumpkin [a Party member] was talking about a visit to his home by a local newspaper reporter. He said the reporter came to his home. They let him in and answered a lot of questions. . . .”

“John Noto said Lumpkin should never let the reporter into the house. Should not have answered any questions. He said `Sometime I will see the time we can stand a person like this S. O. B. against the wall and shoot him.’

????? ????? ????? ?? Noto v United States (1961)

Hopponit (profile) says:

Teen arrest

Yeah, it’s an overreaction. But what I want to add is about something you added. I am old enough to have listened to that often quoted line from John Lennon on live tv. I don’t know if there is a copy of it from when it happened, but he didn’t say it the way everybody says he did. It’s out of context to his whole statement that day. He was talking about how the public and press were taking the Beatles and making too much of them! More or less what he said was that folks were making them out to be bigger than Jesus and he didn’t think it was right! That was not how it got reported to the public on the news that night or anytime after. The only part that got reported was the first pat, not the whole statement. They were getting a little too big for their britches, but what he really said wasn’t as bad as what they got attacked for. Why? H—, it made great headlines! Why else.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Teen arrest

You want to know the whole statement? It began with, “Christianity will go. It will shrink and vanish. I needn’t argue that”. It’s pretty clear what he thought. If it’s not clear enough, look at some other quotes from the Beatles, such as:
“We probably seem to be anti-religious. It’s simple; none of us believe in God”.
“We’re not anti-Christ, just anti-Pope and anti-Christian.”
Their press manager Derek Taylor was quoted as saying that the “boys” were so anti-Christ it shocked him.

T cox says:

This is very scary that this could happen to anyone child~ the Government on all levels is out of control! Really the “adults” involved with this arrest are must have never been a teenager or as I suspect wanting to move up the political latter. How dare they destroy this families life, even if they dismiss the charges they will have paid thousands of dollars to a lawyer! Unfortunately this happens all the time so many are behind bars so that a politician can gain his brownie points!

EddieP says:

Taking Threats Seriously

Saying that he was held without bail “for writing a rap song” isn’t true though, is it. I don’t support this young man being criminalized, but I don’t think he should be blasting threats of violence either, whether its in a rap or not. Nor should we be blaming this on “the Media”. He said “Ima beat every murder charge”. wtf? This isn’t something we minimize, we should take it very seriously. We just saw what happened in Boston when young men fell under a destructive influence, and we shouldn’t minimize the seriousness of it. People lost limbs and life behind it. I pray that my fellow Liberals start thinking a little more carefully about the contempt they point at their own country and what it means in this world we are living in. They boy probably shouldn’t be locked up, but (speaking figuretively) he sure needs his butt whooped.

tiffany (profile) says:

REALLY?

WTF!!!! This kid is just expressing the fustration of a generation that is freakin pissed at the mess we all made and are going to leave them to clean-up!!! Thee future in this counry is up in the air the safety and security we all grew up with is none exsistant to the new generations…They are pissed, scared and feeling over-whelmed with the prospect of having to fix this Freakin Mess That they (the people who were apart of this arrest, and government in a whole) have created for them…Im scared and pissed and im an adult…they (the kids) see a bigger picture and understand the gravity of what is happening in our country….Let that boy go!!! let him express his disappointment and anger…cuz these kids if enpowered properly will be the one to save our country from certain extermination and put us back on track od leadership in the world. without them our future gens will not exist as we know it now…..

Renee says:

hmmm

so everyone agrees we should only take seriously comments or threats that are made by NON-white people? It’s perfectly fine for suburban kids who want to be hardcore to say and do whatever they please? let’s suppose a Muslim wrote something like this… still fine?? No?? Yeah I did not think so.

I think it’s a perfect lesson in be careful what you say. Now when this is all over he can go back to playing soccer and having his mom drop him off at the mall instead of trying to pretend he’s some tough gangster.

Renee says:

hmmm

so everyone agrees we should only take seriously comments or threats that are made by NON-white people? It’s perfectly fine for suburban kids who want to be hardcore to say and do whatever they please? let’s suppose a Muslim wrote something like this… still fine?? No?? Yeah I did not think so.

I think it’s a perfect lesson in be careful what you say. Now when this is all over he can go back to playing soccer and having his mom drop him off at the mall instead of trying to pretend he’s some tough gangster.

Lee G says:

MA Teen Arrested And Held Without Bail For Posting Supposed 'Terrorist Threat' On Facebook

What can you expect from a country that believes it is the police man of the world with the right to invade any country they conceive as a threat, a country that listens to every phone call made in to or out of the country, a country that checks every email sent in to or out of the country. America a country were you can buy assault riffles, hand guns,explosive,
you can even have your own private army and it’s all totally legal but if you post a harmless comment on a social network you get lock up without a trial, Land of the Free I think not!

Dee says:

Thank you for writing this. I’m usually able to shrug off most of the “news” but this really got to me. I am the parent of 2 teenage boys and nothing about this seems dangerous to me either. I feel so bad for this kid. He’s obviously venting his angry feelings using rap as his outlet (he was evidently picked on quite badly at school). As you said, maybe the police aren’t telling the whole story. Maybe the kid needs counseling. No chance of parole? Couldn’t he at least get out wearing an ankle bracelet? There are many talk jocks who spout much more violent rhetoric than this! It makes me sad and furious.

Dee says:

Thank you for writing this. I’m usually able to shrug off most of the “news” but this really got to me. I am the parent of 2 teenage boys and none of this stuff seems suspicious to me either. I feel so bad for this kid. He’s obviously venting his angry feelings using rap as his outlet (he was evidently picked on quite badly at school). As you said, maybe the police aren’t telling the whole story. Maybe the kid needs counseling. No chance of parole? WHY? There are many talk jocks who spout much more violent rhetoric than this! It makes me sad and furious.

mike d says:

yeah right

This is bull****, it’s pure hype. This kid will not go to jail. They are just trying to hype this to get publicity. I do not disagree with music as an art form but guess what? When you are unknown and make death threats (art or not), someone may take you serious. This kid is an idiot and hopefully learns something from this. Screw you Hip-hop idoits for ruining society just to make money. Its all to sell kids clothing and records. Its not real! You are all sheep following the herd!

steve smitty says:

free speech

Sounds to me like those cops are afraid of their own shadows….what a wussy move…and of course the cops get all dramatic about it like they just solved the crime of the century….feel important now do you officers? I’ll bet those same cops say bad things about the government every time they do their taxes.

CDW says:

ridiculous

Writing his song and expressing his political opinions are not crimes. It is so sick and so ugly that these idiots arrested him. His free speech is no one else’s business, and this sick reactionary society needs to look in the mirror. The US government murders children in Pakistan, Yemen, Afganistan…every day, so it is the federal house of horrors, and if you’re offended by his song, then that was probably his point. Or is all provocative art terrorism? Start arresting the drag queens again too.

malorie says:

Those lyrics are actually really stupid. I thought it was going to be something lame like fuck the government or something, but uh, saying you’re out of your mind and gonna make the news and make the government ‘cry’ because you’re going to blow shit up is a really fucking stupid thing to say on any public forum. And yes, Facebook is a PUBLIC forum.

Tom Duggan (profile) says:

Facts are Funny things......

As the writer who “breathlessly” broke this story I am amused beyond giddiness to see how quickly the sheep just follow along a narrative no matter what the facts may show.
Now, for the record I am a first amendment advocate who lectures on the topic quite frequently and when I first got word of this story my PERSONAL opinion was that charging this GUY (he is no kid) with terrorism was an affront to the friends I lost on 911.

NOW…. having said that… let’s take a look at the story you are criticizing, shall we?

You ASSume when reading this straight news story that the writer was “breathlessly” trying to bias the readers of said story and that said bias was to paint Carmen D’Ambrosia in a bad light as to railroad an INNOCENT FLOWER with negative press.

But….. since my PERSONAL opinion was (at the time)disgusted that he was being charged with “terrorism” … and the FACTS of the story showed D’Ambrosio in a bad light… it was the FACTS that lead the story not any personal bias. If there was personal bias in this NEWS story it would have favored Cameron.

But this does bring up an interesting point when dealing with people who like to recklessly attack others without knowing the true motives… or even bothering to ask.
It seems from your criticism of my piece, that your beef is really centered around why I did NOT show my bias when writing the story …. since THAT bias is one you would AGREE with. This amuses me greatly.

The satanic depiction on his Facebook page in and of itself means nothing. But when you take it in context with what he was being charged with, his bragging on facebook that he was going to “beat every murder charge”, and saying his acts would be bigger than the Boston Marathon, previous threats,complaints by dozens of kids at Methuen High School that they felt he was a threat, and some rather DISTURBING previous posts (which we did NOT report) the satanic imagery BECOMES relevant.

Now let’s address another issue. FACTS
It is rare today to find people interested in those pesky facts because most people want to fit a story to THEIR narrative not let the facts SHAPE their narrative.

Tea Party conservatives are writing blog postings and emailing me saying D’Ambrosio was targeted for his “anti government posts”. Several other blogs paint him out to be a goofy kid, who was just clowning around and is up against jack booted thug government cops looking to take away his rights.

But the facts show differently.
#1 He is not being charged under the patriot act or any FEDERAL charges at all. He is being charges under Massachusetts General Law Chapter 269, Section 14B. (Bomb Threats/Hijacking threats). Which is commonly referred to by Law Enforcement as a “terrorism statute” But does not elevate the criminal offense to the Federal level.
#2 He has an arrest record and a probation record that shows him to be anything BUT a “goofy kid” or an innocent flower.The neighbors we spoke with ALL said that he was a violent kid with a really troubled home and every one of them said being in jail was better than what he had to go home to. EVERY ONE OF THEM. I did not include that in the story because I didn’t think smearing the father was relevant to the story.
#3 He was not charged because of anti-government rapping, he wasn’t charged because the evil government conspired against him, he was charged because he sent TEXT messages where he threatened a mass murder (NOT RAP LYRICS) and he then posted similar threats on line. Hiding behind “They were rap lyrics” doesn’t cut it in the real world. This isn’t high school. I cannot post on line that I am going to go out and rape women and when I get caught get a free pass claiming they were lyrics to a song.
#4 None of his threatening posts SAID they were rap lyrics. to those unfamiliar with Cameraon’s aspiring rap career they looked more like the messages we saw from the columbine killers in their notebooks. These were not written in lyric form, and they didn’t rhyme (though I agree not all rappers rhyme)
#5 A LIBERAL MASSACHUSETTS JUDGE looked at the ACTUAL EVIDENCE in LAWRENCE district court (the poorest city in MA and the highest minority population with BY FAR the most liberal judges). She said she found his pattern of behavior (oddly missing in your criticism) “Very troubling”. I have followed Judge Rooney… she is as liberal as they come!
#6 Police that I spoke with, both the chief and officers involved said they had arrested him because they believed he was a threat and was escalating violent threats on line and in text messages, as well as verbally to students. At no time did ONE officer on or off the record cite anti government opinions as a motivating factor.

Now it is up to a jury if it goes that far.
Cameron D’Ambrosi is not a terrorist by any stretch. Deeming him a terrorist is an afront to every American who died at the hands of REAL terrorism.
But he isn’t a “goofy kid” or a victim of the evil government who is prosecuting him for a RAP song either. He is a VERY troubled kid with violence issues, a very troubled home life and the perfect profile of a mass shooter. His postings and his personal behavior landed him where he is. Not some jack booted government agent hell bent on taking people’s free speech rights away.

The story I wrote was an accurate depiction of the facts we had at the time. It was those FACTS that determined the direction of the story. I am sorry if they are inconvenient FACTS to those looking for a poster boy for their cause (a cause I actually agree with).

Maybe in course of fighting monsters you have become one yourself.

http://valleypatriot.com/methuen-teen-being-held-on-terrorism-charges-becomes-free-speech-poster-boy

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