Image Credit: GatheringOfTheJuggalos.com
Bad news for Juggalos, aka Insane Clown Posse fans, as a federal judge has dismissed a case that would have removed them from being considered a 'gang' by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
The lawsuit, brought to trial via Insane Clown Posse and the American Civil Liberties Union, stemmed from the FBI from calling the rap duo and its fans, often known for their clown-face stage makeup, "a gang" in a 2011 report. According to the Associated Press, Judge Robert Cleland said last week that the FBI's report is "descriptive" and not "prescriptive" - meaning it is not illegal per se.
From the ACLU's website:
“The only way to remedy this injustice for all innocent Juggalos is to start with the root of the problem – the FBI’s arbitrary and erroneous branding of hundreds of thousands of music fans as gang members,” said Michael J. Steinberg, ACLU of Michigan legal director. “There is no doubt that the FBI created this problem and the solution begins there as well. Otherwise, we’ll be playing whack-o-mole to stop local law enforcement agencies from discriminating against our clients, when the agencies are just following the FBI’s lead.”
The lawsuit was filed on behalf of four Juggalos and the two members of ICP and stems from a 2011 decision by the DOJ to include the fan group in the agency’s third National Gang Threat Assessment officially identifying Juggalos as a “hybrid gang.” As a result of this unjust designation, “individual Juggalos are suffering improper investigations, detentions and other denials of their personal rights at the hands of government officials” or denied employment.
“This is not the end -- we’ll keep fighting to clear the Juggalo family name,” said Joseph Bruce (aka Violent J), a member of ICP. “There has never been—and will never be—a music fan base quite like Juggalos, and 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.”
The "Gathering of The Juggalos" an annual concert/music festival, is scheduled to take place July 23rd - 27th in Ohio.