A lawsuit Insane Clown Posse filed against the U.S. government and FBI has been dismissed by a judge, who ruled that the agency is not to blame from any fallout from a 2011 FBI report that placed a “gang” tag on the group’s fans, known as Juggalos.
According to Billboard.com, U.S. District Judge Robert Cleland dismissed the lawsuit brought forth by the indie rap duo and its fans, who said they’ve been targeted by police because of their loyalty to the group, when they are spotted wearing jewelry or tattoos with ICP’s logo, a man running with a hatchet.
Cleland said the U.S. Justice Department is not responsible for how authorities use a national report on gangs.
The judge says the report “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.”
Despite the loss in court, the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan, which filed the lawsuit, says its fight against Juggalos being targeted is not over. They plan to appeal the decision.
ICP member Violent J addressed the ruling as well, echoing the Union’s plan. “This is not the end,” said the rapper. “We’ll keep fighting to clear the Juggalo family name…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.”
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.