There’s more to Juggalos than Faygo and face paint. When you’re a Juggalo, you’re family. But the FBI doesn’t seem to see it that way.
In 2011, the Bureau added the Insane Clown Posse and Psychopathic Records fan group to its gang list; however, a federal appeals ruled in favor of the group who want their name removed. ICP argues that the gang label has caused suffering amongst Juggalos.
The ACLU of Michigan praised the court’s ruling in a Friday press release. “We are thrilled to have the opportunity to prove what everyone knows: While the Juggalos may be non-conformists, they are certainly not a criminal gang,” said legal director of the ACLU of Michigan, Michael J. Steinberg.
“We’re thankful that the Juggalo family will finally get their day in court,” founding ICP members Shaggy 2 Dope and Violent J. said via press release. “Discrimination against someone based solely upon the type of music they listen to is just flat out wrong.” ICP claims that the labeling has “wreaked havoc on thousands of lives, resulting in job losses, dismissal from military service, eviction, [loss of] child custody, and constant harassment and profiling from law enforcement.”
Juggalos appear in the FBI’s 2011 “National Gang Threat Assessment” as a “hybrid” gang. “Most crimes committed by Juggalos are sporadic, disorganized, individualistic,” the report says, but their data shows that “Juggalos are forming more organized subsets and engaging in more gang-like criminal activity,” including felony assault, drug sales, theft, and robbery.
The Detroit-area rap group rose to prominence in the 1990’s, inspiring the formation of their huge, devoted fan base who get together for the annual Gathering of the Juggalos, a convergence of music, wrestling, and comedy.
Although their name remains on the FBI gang list, the group is just grateful to have their case heard.
“We’ll see what happens,” their lawyer, Howard Hertz, told the Detroit Metro Times. “You never know with a case, but at least we’re back in the game.”
[via Detroit Metro Times]