In January, Detroit horrorcore rappers Insane Clown Posse (ICP) filed a civil lawsuit over the FBI's classification of their fans as a "hybrid gang." Now FBI lawyers are trying to get the suit dismissed because, according to Justice Department attorney Amy Powell, "there is no general right of protection to a social association."
The suit, filed with the help of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Michigan, alleges that local law enforcement has been using the FBI's 2011 "National Gang Threat Assessment" to profile and detain the fans of ICP, commonly known as Juggalos.
Some fans, called Juggalos, claim to have lost custody of children, lost jobs and been denied housing simply because they enjoy the music of the duo from the Detroit area. Another fan was told he couldn't apply to the Army without removing or covering Insane Clown Posse tattoos, usually a man running with a hatchet.
Justice Department attorney Amy Powell said the group and its fans have no standing to sue. She said the government is not responsible for how police agencies use information in the 2011 national gang report.
But when the government classifies Juggalos as a gang, they are really criminalizing the poor and disenfranchised. Reason TV traveled to Cave-In-Rock, Ill., to meet these music fans in person in Juggalos vs. the FBI: Why Insane Clown Posse Fans are Not a Gang: