A 2011 FBI report cited “Juggalos”, known as loyal fans to the musical group Insane Clown Posse, into a gang category, leading to a years long battle against the gang tag.
However, US District Judge Robert Cleland dismissed their lawsuit by the metal-rap pair and their fans. The ICP and fellow Juggalos stated in their lawsuit that they were being unfairly treated and targeted by police because they had tattoos and jewelry, and marks of the group’s logo, a man running with a hatchet.
Cleland also stated in the dismissal that the US Justice Department is not responsible for how police use a national report on gangs.
“[It] does not recommend any particular course of action for local law enforcement to follow, and instead operates as a descriptive, rather than prescriptive, assessment of nationwide gang trends.”
Cleland 14-page opinion on the matter brought the ire of The American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan, who had filed the lawsuit on their behalf citing a violation of their constitution rights to free speech and due process.
Said Insane Clown Posse co-leader Shaggy 2 Dope, “Just because you like a music group doesn’t make you a criminal…We are hearing too many stories from our fans about the trouble [this] is causing them.”
Juggalos were labeled as a “loosely organized hybrid gang” by the FBI, which stated that those who identify as Juggalos have committed vandalism, assaults and other serious crimes.
“This is not the end. We’ll keep fighting to clear the Juggalo family name,” Insane Clown Posse member Joseph Bruce, known as Violent J, said in a statement released by the ACLU.
“While it is easy to fear what one does not understand, discrimination and bigotry against any group of people is just plain wrong and un-American,” he said.
The ACLU is appealing the decision.