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Insane Clown Posse Sue FBI For Calling Juggalos a “Gang”

On Wednesday, lawyers for horrorcore hip-hop duo Insane Clown Posse filed suit in federal court against the United States Justice Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation for classifying their fans (known as “Juggalos”) a “loosely-organized hybrid gang,” the New York Times reports.

Also named as plaintiffs in the lawsuit are four ICP fans who claim they have been the victims of police harassment and other penalties for identifying themselves as Juggalos. Lawyers for the American Civil Liberties Union are representing the four fans in the suit, which was filed in the Federal District Court in Detroit, MI.

The complaint stems from a 2011 report issued by the National Gang Intelligence Center.  An entire section of the document is devoted to the Juggalos, calling them a “loosely-organized hybrid gang” that is “rapidly expanding,” adding that four states recognize them as a gang. “Law enforcement officials in at least 21 states have identified criminal Juggalo sub-sets,” the report states, also asserting that Juggalo members have been known to form more organized groups engaging in felony criminal activity.

The lawsuit claims that fans of the rap duo have had their rights of free expression and due process violated over the fact that they are classified by the U.S. government as members of a criminal gang. “Among the supporters of almost any group…there will be some people who violate the law,” the suit says. “However, it is wrong to designate the entire group of supporters as a criminal gang based on the acts of a few.”

In a press conference Wednesday, Insane Clown Posse founders Joseph Bruce and Joey Utlser (who go by Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope, respectively) also noted that concert attendance and merchandise sales have dropped considerably since the FBI gave Juggalos the gang designation.

Shaggy 2 Dope said during the press conference, “We’re not a gang, we’re a family — a diverse group of men and women united by our love of music, and nothing more. We’re not a threat, a public menace or a danger to society.”

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About the Author


David Tillman is an independent composer/arranger whose primary work involves writing jingles for commercials for radio and television, with several film and television placements to his credit as well. David has a fascination for all things related to the music business and the music industry in general, an obsession which his wife finds to be mildly unhealthy at times. His personal tastes in music are in electronica and industrial rock, and include The Chemical Brothers, Daft Punk and Nine Inch Nails (he loves that Trent Reznor is writing soundtracks!). When not in his office or in his man-cave, David enjoys skiing, hiking, the occasional game of golf, and sometimes just lounging by the pool. David lives with his wife and three children in Los Angeles, CA.

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