Remember a year and a half ago when Insane Clown Posse decided to sue the FBI over classifying Juggalos as a criminal gang? Everyone had a laugh, asked how magnets worked, and got on their way. Eventually, judges dismissed the lawsuit that demanded the FBI release documentation to back up their claim. However, today, Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope have announced that they’ve teamed up with the ACLU to file a new lawsuit against the FBI as well as the Department of Justice.
The suit claims that the government had made an “unwarranted and unlawful decision” by claiming that Juggalos are criminal gang members. In addition to the ACLU of Michigan and ICP, four Juggalos from Nevada, California, North Carolina and Iowa are among the plaintiffs, offering details of when they were subject to police harassment due to being down with the clown. An article in the New York Times discusses the lawsuit, also naming ICP by their real names, which are Joseph Bruce and Joseph Utsler. Here’s what it said about one of the plaintiffs:
Another plaintiff, Scott Gandy, from Concord, N.C., said that he was told at an Army recruitment office in 2012 that he could not join the military without removing his Juggalo tattoos, which a recruiter told him were “gang-related.” Mr. Gandy said he spent “hundreds of dollars to undergo a painful procedure in which his Juggalo tattoos were covered with other tattoos,” but his application to the Army was still denied.
It’s hysterical to see ICP in full makeup at the press conference while filing the suit. But while we’re not going to defend their music (or call it metal), it’s commendable that the duo are going to court to protect their fans. If this was about the freedom to be a Satanist as opposed to a Juggalo, you could easily see why they have a valid case against the government. And while some Juggalos have done some pretty dumb shit, some of it criminal, that doesn’t mean that anyone repping the band should be treated like one.