A judge has said that the Federal Bureau of Investigation is not at fault for the effects of classifying Juggalos, the fans of Detroit horrorcore rap duo Insane Clown Posse (ICP), as a "hybrid gang" in their 2011 National Gang Threat Assessment report.
U.S. District Court Judge Robert Cleland dismissed a lawsuit brought in January 2014 by the members of Insane Clown Posse and the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan that alleged local police departments were using the FBI’s report to profile, harass, and detain Juggalos based on the fact that they associated themselves with the group. From the Associated Press:
Cleland said the U.S. Justice Department is not responsible for how authorities use a national report on gangs.
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 in a 14-page opinion last week.
Lawyers from the ACLU beg to differ and released a statement July 8 saying that the only way to remedy the classification was to start at the root of the problem.
“There is no doubt that the FBI created this problem and the solution begins there as well," said Michael J. Steinberg, ACLU of Michigan legal director. "Otherwise, we’ll be playing whack-o-mole to stop local law enforcement agencies from discriminating against our clients, when the agencies are just following the FBI’s lead."
The members of ICP, Joseph Utsler and Joseph Bruce, known as Shaggy 2 Dope and Violent J respectively, have vowed to keep fighting against classification of their fans.
“There has never been—and will never be—a music fan base quite like Juggalos, and 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,” said Bruce.
For more on the Juggalos watch Juggalos vs. the FBI: Why Insane Clown Posse Fans are Not a Gang: