FBI Designates Juggalos a Gang, Insane Clown Posse Sues

Posted October 5, 2012 in Criminal Law by

Bloods, Crips, Latin Kings and Juggalos? The latter, the unofficial name for the tattooed, rabid fan base of horror-core rock group Insane Clown Posse, have been classified as a “loosely-organized hybrid gang” by the FBI in their latest gang threat assessment. The band, known as ICP for short, is none too happy about the designation and is suing the FBI to find out what exactly their fans did to deserve such a label.

Although the FBI report notes that crimes committed by Juggalos tend to be individualistic and minor, it nevertheless asserts “many Juggalos subsets exhibit gang-like behavior and engage in criminal activity and violence…a small number of Juggalos are forming more organized subsets and engaging in more gang-like criminal activity, such as felony assaults, thefts, robberies and drug sales.”

Arizona, California, Pennsylvania and Utah already consider the Juggalos a criminal gang.

To fight back against the designation, ICP is suing the FBI for allegedly violating the Freedom of Information Act by not releasing documents that explain why the Juggalos made the gang threat assessment. The band claims that thanks to the FBI label, its fans will be subject to harassment for no greater offense than displaying their affection for the so-called “wicked clowns.”

Howard Hertz

“You’re trying to grow love in your country,” band member Shaggy 2 Dope told a Village Voice reporter. “Then the head of your country — the FBI — just turns around and…kicks you in the nuts. How are you supposed to respond to that?”

The Voice found plenty of examples of Juggalos who thought they’d been discriminated against because of their affiliation with the band: “There’s the guy who lost his kids to a foster home because of his tattoo. There’s the Juggalo who was discharged from the United States military for having a Psychopathic Records CD. There’s the Wisconsin kid who was forbidden from wearing Insane Clown Posse shirts to school, but didn’t have money for new clothes, so he kept getting suspended.”

“This whole thing is absurd,” says the group’s attorney, Howard Hertz, to a media blog

Shaggy 2 Dope summed up the band’s predicament with a pithy comment that should warm attorneys’ hearts across the country: “We’re doing the American thing — we’re suing.”

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