Shaggy 2 Dope (left) and Violent J have sued the Department of Justice and FBI, saying the designation of their Juggalos fans as a gang infringes on the devotees’ constitutional rights.
Civil liberties, how do they work?
The Insane Clown Posse and four die-hard fans announced a lawsuit against the FBI and Department of Justice Wednesday, saying their constitutional rights were violated when the feds designated their Juggalo devotees a gang.
“It’s time for the FBI to come to its senses and recognize that Juggalos are not a gang but a worldwide family united by the love of music,” said one member of the rap duo, Joseph Bruce, aka Violent J, in a statement released by the Michigan American Civil Liberties Union, which joined the suit.
“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.”
The Juggalos are known for painting their faces like clowns — just like the hip-hop duo that forms the posse, Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope. Their weeklong bacchanal, the Gathering of the Juggalos, is notorious for its blatant drug use and general bad behavior.
In 2011 the Department of Justice designated Juggalos a “hybrid gang.” The government estimates there are more than 1 million of the fanatics.
The government estimates there are more than 1 million Juggalos — or die-hard fans of the Insane Clown Posse.
That designation led two fans to endure harassment at the hands of the police, the lawsuit alleges.
Brandon Bradley, 20, said cops in Sacramento, Calif., “on numerous occasions” accused him of being in a gang, and interrogated about his Juggalo tattoos and clothing.
Scott Gandy said he would not be accepted in the Army because his ICP tattoo was a gang symbol. He spent $ 800 to have his Juggalo tattoos covered, but he was still rejected from the military.
“It’s unfair that police are treating fans of ICP like criminals just because of the music we like,” said Bradley. “Even though the Juggalo community has had a positive effect on my life, now I feel I have to cover my tattoos in certain areas or risk being harassed by police. It’s wrong to make me hide who I am.”
ICP hails from Detroit and since 1989 has earned two platinum and five gold albums. The group’s 2009 song, “Miracles,” became an Internet meme thanks to its thought-provoking question, “F—— magnets, how do they work?”
The Department of Justice did not have immediate comment on the lawsuit.