Legendary horrorcore rap duo, the Insane Clown Posse, are suing the Department of Justice and the FBI, alongside four of their fans, demanding that “Juggalos” (the name fans are referred to as) be purged from the agencies’ list of national gang organizations.
According to Rolling Stone, the rap duo filed the complaint in Detroit federal court Wednesday (Jan. 8), stating: “Organized crime is by no means part of the Juggalo culture.”
In 2011, the FBI’s 2011 National Gang Threat Assessment division officially classified Juggalos as a “loosely-organized hybrid gang” that are “forming more organized subsets and engaging in more gang-like criminal activity.” A year later, ICP vowed to fight the designation, hiring a legal team to protect both themselves and fans against persecution.
Lawyers for ICP and the ACLU claim that the profiling of Juggalos — based on their distinctive clown makeup and Hatchetman tattoos — lacks reasonable suspicion of gang affiliation. As a result, the “unconstitutionally vague” designation has since intimidated many from expressing themselves and denied them protection from unreasonable searches, according to the filing.
“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,” Saura Sahu, an attorney assisting the ACLU of Michigan, tells Rolling Stone. He also cited the decline in turnout at the latest Gathering of the Juggalos, ICP’s annual five-day festival.
“We don’t fit in anywhere,” Insane Clown Posse’s Violent J also told the mag. “And when people don’t understand you, people fear you. All we’re trying to do is be like the Stephen King of music. We like to tell horror stories.
“We don’t know if we can beat the FBI,” Violent J says. “But we’re damn sure not gonna sit there and accept it.”