The American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan, along with the Detroit music duo Insane Clown Posse (ICP), filed a federal lawsuit today on behalf of Juggalos, or fans of ICP, claiming that their constitutional rights to expression and association were violated when the U.S. government wrongly and arbitrarily classified the entire fan base as a "hybrid" criminal gang.
It's true: The feds have classified the Juggalos as a gang. The designation was made in a 2011 FBI report, which included such immortal lines as "Juggalos are traditionally fans of the musical group the Insane Clown Posse." (As I wrote at the time, I'd love to learn more about those non-traditional Juggalos who are not fans of Insane Clown Posse.) The duo announced last year that it planned to sue the agency, and now it's happening.
The band is joined in its suit by four individual Juggalos, three of whom say cops have profiled them for their fan identity. For example:
Mark Parsons considers himself one of the original fans of ICP, having attended shows and supported the band for years. In honor of the band, Mark named his own trucking company Juggalo Express, LLC and decorated his big rig with the image of a Hatchetman.
While Mark was hauling cargo in a tractor-trailer emblazoned with an ICP logo, he was detained for a safety inspection by a Tennessee State Trooper. When Mark asked why he was stopped, the Trooper replied it was because the logo was associated with a gang "according to the FBI." This inspection delayed Mark's cargo for over an hour.
Bonus link: Another sort of Juggalo justice.