Hardcore rappers Insane Clown Posse have filed a lawsuit against the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Justice. The rappers want their fans, called “Juggalos,” removed from the FBI’s list of suspected gangs.
The lawsuit, which was filed early this week, accuses the bureau of withholding information. Joe Bruce, a.k.a. Violent J, and Joey Utsler, a.k.a. Shaggy 2 Dope, said the FBI refused to provide information requested under the Freedom of Information Act. Specifically, the rappers want to know why their fans were designated as members of a gang.
According to the National Gang Threat Assessment report of 2011, ICP fans are akin to a “loosely-organized hybrid gang” and often “exhibit gang-like behavior and engage in criminal activity and violence.”
As reported by Rolling Stone, the rappers strongly disagree. Insane Clown Posse denies the accusations. The rappers said they and their fans “are a family” and they want the gang designation removed:
“We come together for our luv of the Insane Clown Posse, Psychopathic Records and our Juggalo pride. Can we take a [expletive] second to note that Jimmy Buffett’s Parrot Heads, Lady Gaga’s Little Monsters, Justin Bieber’s Beliebers, the Grateful Dead’s Deadheads and many more haven’t been labeled as a gang?”
In the lawsuit, ICP argues that the gang designation overrides the Juggalos constitutional rights. As they are subject to unreasonable suspicion, many fans have avoided ICP concerts and events.
Attorney Saura Sahu said the FBI’s designation has “scared people away from attending concerts” and gathering “for the purpose of listening to music.”
Numerous Juggalos report harassment by law enforcement officials. ICP set up a website, where fans can share their experiences. Those who have been wrongfully searched or arrested are encouraged to fill out a questionnaire. All reports will be reviewed by the rappers’ legal team.
Although Insane Clown Posse and their fans may appear unusual to some, they deny any criminal activity. Their attorneys claim they are being harassed based on the way to look and dress.