Judge Deems Facebook-Posting Rapper Cameron D'Ambrosio A 'Threat,' Denies Bail
from the if-you-can't-do-the-time,-don't-do-the-rhyme? dept
Cameron D'Ambrosio, the Massachusetts teen arrested and charged with "communicating terroristic threats" (or "bomb threats," depending on who's doing the reporting) via a Facebook post (in the form of rap lyrics -- CammyDee has aspirations), has been denied bail by the state's Superior Court.
The judge's decision was based on the "dangerousness" hearing held May 9th in Lawerence County Judge Lynn Rooney's courtroom, in which she decided D'Ambrosio was a threat to others based on his previous run-ins with the law.
“I believe the behavior here has been escalating,” Judge Lynn Rooney said after reviewing a half dozen records of police and probation reports prosecutors submitted at the hearing. “And it’s very troubling.”D'Ambrosio's past is far from squeaky clean and he seems to have acquired a reputation for threatening others. (He also seems to let his better judgement take a backseat to mouth/keyboard -- the officer who arrested Cameron after his Facebook post knew him from a previous incident, one in which D'Ambrosio was hospitalized after being beaten so severely by another student that his spleen ruptured. This beating was apparently prompted by some Facebook comments D'Ambrosio directed towards the other student's girlfriend.)
The reports included D’Ambrosio’s arrest in June after a fight over $20 with his older sister, who called police after locking herself in her room. During the argument, D’Ambrosio pushed her and, after she locked herself in her bedroom, threatened to stab her, according to the arrest report from June 21.
Police said D’Ambrosio admitted he said that, but said he was just upset. The case was continued on Oct. 17, and dismissed on April 17, exactly two weeks before he was arrested for the Facebook post.
Rooney said she also was troubled by a police report from November 2011, which said D’Ambrosio threatened to shoot two eighth-grade students. Police said he admitted to making that statement, but was only kidding.
So, D'Ambrosio clearly knows how to make specific threats directed towards specific individuals. But it took a vague "threat," delivered in the form of a horrible/horrific "rap" to finally get him locked up, threatened with a 20-year sentence and denied bail. Even Sheriff Joe Solomon, who went to great lengths to read between the lines of D'Ambrosio's Facebook post and attribute him with things he didn't actually say, admitted the post contained no specific threats.
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 first part of Solomon's sentence is true -- D'Ambrosio made no specific threats. The second part? Not so much. For clarification, here's the entire Facebook post currently being declared a "terroristic threat" by the state. This includes some additional verbiage (in bold) that wasn't contained in previous reporting.
All you haters keep my fuckin' name outcha mouths, got it? what the fuck I gotta do to get some props and shit huh? Ya'll wanme to fucking kill somebody? What the fuck do these fucking demons want from me? Fucking bastards I ain't no longer a person, I’m not in reality. So when u see me fucking go insane and make the news, the paper, and the fuckin federal house of horror known as the white house, Don’t fucking cry or be worried because all YOU people fucking caused this shit. Fuck a boston bominb wait till u see the shit I do, I’ma be famous rapping, and beat every murder charge that comes across me!Rapper addresses haters, makes grandiose claims, plays up street cred with criminal references. Positively unremarkable, except that multiple students reported this status update to school administration. This doesn't necessarily mean these students felt threatened. It's equally believable that D'Ambrosio's mouth, attitude and behavior made him less than well-liked at his school.
Sheriff Solomon then took what little was offered and ran with it, leading us up to this point. But you have to wonder where state prosecutors will go with this as it heads through the judicial system. D'Ambrosio's lawyer points out there's not much here for the state to work with.
DuBosque argued in court that D’Ambrosio was not a danger because he was not threatening specific violence, and police found no explosives, weapons or other writing about violence when they searched his home. The post started out as lyrics, he said.The statute D'Ambrosio is charged with violating will need to be stretched to cover a "threat" that fails to meet most of the specifications. But once the word "terrorist" is introduced into the mix, specificities tend to suddenly become vague "guidelines" as the law is bent, beaten and painted to match.
Because D’Ambrosio did not threaten to use a weapon in a specific place or against a specific person, the post did not meet the state statute’s requirements, DuBosque said.
On the plus side, D'Ambrosio has more than a few citizens working towards preventing both the First Amendment and the tactless rapper from going down the drain. A petition created by the Center for Rights and Fight For The Future asking for D'Ambrosio's release has gathered over 70,000 signatures. The local Center for Rights has also criticized the judge's decision to deny bail (as well as the charge itself), pointing out that D'Ambrosio is facing a stiffer sentence than if he had actually assaulted someone.
As I stated previously, I don't have a problem with something like this being investigated. But the end result should have been little more than "loudmouth teen says stupid shit," and perhaps some court-ordered counseling or supervised probation, considering his past behavior. Instead, we have a high school student facing a 20-year sentence for saying the wrong thing ("Boston bombinb" [sic]) at the wrong time (too soon).