Fans of the rap-metal group Insane Clown Posse are still gang members, according to a United States district judge. U.S. District Judge Robert Cleland threw out a lawsuit from the group’s two members yesterday which challenged the 2011 FBI report that classified their fans, known as Juggalos, as gang members. According to Cleland, the federal government cannot be blamed for any of the issues that have occurred after the decision was made.
The Insane Clown Posse’s fans complain that since the FBI’s 2011 report came out they have been targeted by police across the nation because of the jewelry or tattoos that with the music duo’s symbol – a man running with a hatchet. The report calls Juggalos a “loosely organized hybrid gang,” who have committed assaults and vandalism and that even a “small number” have been involved in more serious crimes.
Cleland claims that it is not the U.S. Justice Department’s responsibility to tell authorities across the country how to interpret the report.
The report “does not recommend any particular course of action for local law enforcement to follow, and instead operates as a descriptive, rather than prescriptive, assessment of nationwide gang trends,” Cleland said.
The American Civil Liberities Union has rallied behind the music group and its fans, filing the lawsuit on behalf of them. The ALCU believes that the group and its fans’ rights to free speech and due process were violated by the FBI’s report, and it plans on appealing Cleland’s decision.
“This is not the end. We’ll keep fighting to clear the Juggalo family name,” Insane Clown Posse member Joseph Bruce, who is known as Violent J, said in a statement released by the ACLU. “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,” he said.
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