Insane Clown Posse File Suit Against FBI Over ‘Gang’ Classification
It's not uncommon for bands to have names for their fan bases, but Insane Clown Posse are taking exception at the FBI's qualification that their "Juggalo" fan base now qualifies as "gang members."
After becoming aware that the FBI's National Gang Intelligence Center had classified the "Juggalos" as "a loosely-organized hybrid gang," four of the band's fans and the musical duo sued the organization along with the Department of Justice, demanding that their name be taken off the gang classification list.
Rolling Stone reports that the complaint was filed this morning (Jan. 8) in a Detroit federal court. The complaint states, "Organized crime is by no means part of the Juggalo culture." Lawyers argued that the profiling lacks reasonable suspicion and that the "unconstitutionally vague" designation has since intimidated many fans from expressing themselves and denied them protection from unreasonable searches.
Saura Sahu, an attorney assisting the ACLU of Michigan, told Rolling Stone, "The FBI had the impact they wanted. They scared people away from attending concerts and from affiliating together for the purpose of listening to music. Sahu cited the decline in the turnout for the band's annual 'Gathering of the Juggalos' festival this past year as proof.
According to the complaint, the plaintiffs include one person who was stopped, searched and detained by a Tennessee state trooper after the Hatchetman logo was spotted on their truck, a soldier who was not allowed to enlist in the Army without covering or removing their Hatchetman tattoo, and another soldier who is currently enlisted that is in danger of discipline or discharge for tattoos he got years before the Juggalos were deemed "a gang."
Insane Clown Posse's Violent J says, "At first I thought, 'Wow, that's a compliment that our fans are that heard-of and renowned. Then when I realized what's happening to the fans because of it, then everything turned around." He adds, "We don't know if we can beat the FBI, but we're damn sure not gonna sit there and accept it."