In 2011, the FBI classified Insane Clown Posse's fanbase, Juggalos, as a gang. The following year, the ICP filed a lawsuit against the FBI, alleging that the agency did not respond to a Freedom of Information Act request explaining the criteria that led to this designation. While that suit was eventually dismissed, ICP has filed a new lawsuit against both the FBI and the Department of Justice, this time in conjunction with four fans and the American Civil Liberties Union.
The suit alleges that the FBI is using "unconstitutionally vague" criteria to designate the Juggalos as a gang. "None of the information revealed showed any significant link between any significant percentage of the Juggalos and the kind of criminal behaviors that the Department of Justice is supposed to be targeting through these gang initiatives," said Saura Sanu, a lawyer assisting the ACLU.
The lawsuit cites a couple of examples of unfair targeting. One example involved police in Tennessee searching and detaining a truck driver for wearing ICP's Hatchetman logo. Another example found a potential army recruit turned away for being unwilling to remove or cover is Hatchetman tattoo.
"At first I thought, wow, that's a compliment that our fans are that heard-of and that renowned," ICP's Violent J said. "Then when I realized what's happening to the fans because of it, then everything turned around."
The FBI and Department of Justice have until March to respond to the lawsuit.
[via Rolling Stone]