Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

About a year and a half ago, news broke that the Insane Clown Posse was suing the F.B.I., claiming the group and its fans had been unfairly deemed a criminal gang by the government organization. Now, after judges dismissed a 2012 lawsuit demanding the FBI release documentation backing up its claim, the clown group has teamed with the ACLU to file a new suit against both the F.B.I. and the Department of Justice. Now the world just has to wait and see if Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope show up to court in their makeup.

The suit claims that the D.O.J. and F.B.I. was “unwarranted and unlawful” when the organizations slapped the Juggalos with the "gang" designation. ICP claims the resulting scrutiny has led to its fans being summarily harassed by law enforcement, something that caused them “significant harm.”


Plaintiffs for the case include not only ICP members Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope—Joseph Bruce and Joseph Utsler, respectively—but also four Juggalos from Nevada, California, North Carolina, and Iowa, all claiming to have hard evidence that they were unfairly targeted by police for their Juggalo association. For instance, Nevada Juggalo Mark Parsons claims he was detained by police for having the group's signature "Hatchet Man" sticker on his truck. Scott Gandy, the North Carolina Juggalo, said he was told he couldn’t join the Army until he removed his ICP tattoos, which a recruiter told him were “gang-related.” He underwent an expensive, painful procedure to have them covered up, only to be told he still wouldn't make the cut.

While the suit notes that, “among the supporters of almost any group—whether it be a band, sports team, university, political organization, or religion—there will be some people who violate the law," it argues that “it is wrong to designate the entire group of supporters as a criminal gang based on the acts of a few.” ICP claims that, while the group might use “very harsh language to tell nightmarelike stories with an underlying message that horrible things happen to people who choose evil over good,” it also offers songs that contain, “hopeful, life-affirming themes about the wonders of life and the support that Juggalos give to one another.”

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