It has been a long fight for Insane Clown Posse, or ICP, to press forward with their lawsuit against the FBI for designating their fiercely loyal fanbase, the Juggalos, as a “loosely organized hybrid gang”. The case was dismissed in July 2014, leading to Juggalos continuing to be categorized as a gang by the FBI, but now, Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope, the band members that are the backbone of the band, are happy to report they have notched a win for their appeal.
“Discrimination against someone based solely upon the type of music they listen to is just flat out wrong and it’s time that the legal system acknowledges that,” Insane Clown Posse said in a statement, according to Esquire.
In winning their appeal, Insane Clown Posse can continue their pursuit of clearing the Juggalos’ name as a gang. The band has joined forces with four fans following the release of the 2011 National Gang Threat Assessment to sue the FBI, and now that they have seen a win for their appeal, that lawsuit can continue.
The National Gang Threat Assessment cites violent crimes committed by “suspected” Juggalo members in January 2010 and January 2011 in their instances of gang-like behavior, and states that “Juggalo criminal activity has increased over the past several years and has expanded to several other states. Transient, criminal Juggalo groups pose a threat to communities due to the potential for violence, drug use/sales, and their general destructive and violent nature.”
According to the report, Juggalos were already recognized as a gang in four states, but the gang-like behavior that had been exhibited by the subsets of the group were of concern.
Insane Clown Posse and their win of an appeal means the group can fight to restore what they seem to feel is a good name.
Violent J stated in 2011 through the ACLU that “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.” Now that Insane Clown Posse has put one in the win column for their appeal to go ahead with their FBI lawsuit, it’s likely that Juggalos across North America and beyond will be watching the ensuing court case with a great deal of interest.
ICP also remarked in a statement about their win of the appeal that the FBI’s labeling of Juggalos as a gang has created a great deal of disruption in many of their fans’ lives.
“The FBI’s labeling of Juggalos as a gang has wreaked havoc on thousands of lives, resulting in job losses, dismissal from military service, eviction, lost child custody and constant harassment and profiling from law enforcement organizations all across the country,” the statement read according to Rolling Stone.
ICP seems to hope that their winning an appeal will go a long way toward clearing the Juggalo name. While no court date has been set, winning an appeal should definitely help Insane Clown Posse, and their loyal fans, as they try to clear the name from the “gang” category.
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