Justice

Cameron D’Ambrosio had his free speech rights attacked last month. The obvious reason? Paranoia and fear following the Boston Marathon bombings. The official reason? He wrote a song in which he boasted about how the bombings were nothing compared to what he would do. Authorities (not of the moral variety, clearly) claimed he was a terrorist or some stupid, trumped up horseshit charge like that. The grand jury wasn’t buying it:

An Essex County grand jury declined Thursday to bring an indictment against Cameron D’Ambrosio, 18, so prosecutors will formally file a motion to drop the charge of making a bomb or hijack threat, said Carrie Kimball Monahan, a spokeswoman for the district attorney.

She declined to comment on the grand jury’s decision.

Neither D’Ambrosio nor his lawyer could be reached for comment Thursday night.

Authorities said D’Ambrosio was arrested May 1 after police learned that he had posted a message on his Facebook page that read in part, “Ya’ll want me to [expletive] kill somebody?” and “[expletive] a Boston bombing wait till you see the [expletive] I do.”

The posting did not say where any bombing would occur and did not single out any person or group, but it also allegedly referred to the White House.

D’Ambrosio pleaded not guilty the following day in Lawrence District Court, and he was held without bail.

In a statement, Methuen Police Chief Joseph Solomon said his department disagrees with the decision but respects the ruling.

“Several judiciary levels have confirmed the probable cause in this case, as it has worked its way through the criminal justice system,” said Solomon. “We will continue to take all threats against our community seriously.”

Fuck you, Joseph Solomon. If you took your job seriously, you wouldn’t target the First Amendment rights of high school kids. Indeed, had D’Ambrosio been a successful rap artist with gobs of money, you never would have gone after him. The only reason you ignored the constitution, you fuck, is because you thought he was a soft target you could use to make a point. You wanted to send a chill down the spine of anyone who might think of expressing themselves in a way in which you disapprove, so you tried to set a brand new, anti-speech precedent by arresting a kid. Your actions suggest you wish for us to be less free. I find that scummy, you scumbag.

Evan Greer of the Center for Rights, an Internet freedom and civil liberties group, praised the grand jury’s decision in a statement.

“While today is a major victory for Cam, the chilling effect that this case has already had on free speech cannot be undone,” Greer said. “It’s imperative that we send a clear message to all government officials that attacks on freedom of speech will not be tolerated.”

What I would like to do here is use some overt play on words where I suggest that Joseph Solomon’s phone line becomes inundated with calls, except instead of “inundated” I use some phrase like “phone bombed”. It’s sort of like photobombing or, say, rapping about a bombing. It has nothing to do with using any actual explosives and anyone who thinks otherwise is a mook. Unfortunately, I find myself chilled. Who knows what will happen to me if I use my First Amendment rights in a way that upsets anti-free speech crusader Joseph Solomon?

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One Response

  1. Grand juries are notorious for being a rubber stamp for the prosecutors. Any time a grand jury refuses to return an indictment it is newsworthy. (Frankly, most other nations have abolished them; we need to as well.)

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