An 18-year-old high school student from Methuen, Massachusetts was arrested on Wednesday and charged with making a terroristic threat for a rap song he sent in a text message and on social media referencing the Boston Marathon bombing and the White House.
It is not clear what exactly Cameron D’Ambrosio said that upset authorities so much, but footage published to his YouTube account (embedded below) features him wearing a hoodie and calling himself “Killa Cam,” rapping about how he got into a fight and didn’t care.
“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,’” Methuen Police Chief Joe Solomon told local newspaper The Valley Patriot.
He’s being held without bail until a hearing next week can determine whether D’Ambrosio is dangerous, Solomon added in an update published to Twitter. Authorities also searched the teen’s home for evidence that he’d sent the message. A spokesperson was not available for comment, and the department said that D’Ambrosio’s mugshot would not be released.
The law D’Ambrosio is charged with violating is Massachusetts General Law chapter 269, section 14, which prohibits the communication of a threat regarding specific weapons like firearms, chemical munitions or other explosives. The penalty for such an offense is no more than 20 years in prison, a fine of up to $10,000, or both.
While the First Amendment to the Constitution guarantees the right to free speech, it does not protect threatening speech. In this case, the state law’s definition of a threat holds that the statement must indicate a weapon capable of causing serious harm or property damage will be used against a specific person or at a specific location.
Given that police in this case said the threat was not directed toward the school or any specific person, it remains unclear if the statute is applied correctly. “[But] he did threaten to kill a bunch of people and specifically mentioned the Boston Marathon and the White House,” Solomon told The Valley Patriot. “The threat was disturbing enough for us to act and I think our officers did the right thing.”
This video was published to YouTube on Dec. 12, 2012.
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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