The Methuen Teen Rapper Was Released from Jail
D’Ambrosio was first arrested on May 1, when he posted a Facebook status boasting that he wanted to outdo the Boston bombing, which prompted his classmates to report him to authorities. As D’Ambrosio’s stint in jail stretched to several weeks, civil liberties groups protested that his status was no more than a lyric from an aspiring rapper, that his words made no specific threat, and that they constituted protected free speech. An online petition organized by the Center for Rights and Fight for the Future, sister groups concerned with internet freedoms, gained 90,000 signatures calling for his release.
“The Grand Jury’s decision underscores what we have been saying all along: the prosecution doesn’t have a case here, and it’s a grave injustice that it has taken this long to get Cam returned to the safety of his home and family,” said Evan Greer, who has managed those organizations’ campaign for D’Ambrosio’s release, 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.”
The Methuen Police chief (who initially announced D’Ambrosio’s arrest with a release titled “Methuen High School Student Arrested!!! Press Release from Superintendent Scannell and Chief Solomon!!!” … which, that’s a lot of exclamation points is all we’re saying) posted a statement to Facebook saying his department disagreed with the Grand Jury’s decision but accepted it.
“Several judiciary levels have confirmed the probable cause in this case as it has worked it’s way through the criminal justice system. We will continue to take all threats against our community seriously and will always utilize due diligence in our investigation,” the statement said.
The Eagle-Tribune reports that D’Ambrosio’s high school class is set to graduate this Saturday, though whether he’ll be able to make up the schoolwork he missed while sitting in jail and graduate too, remains undecided.