From The Village Voice:
Last fall, the FBI officially named Juggalos “a loosely-organized hybrid gang.” This afternoon, Insane Clown Posse announced at the annual Gathering of the Juggalos “seminar,” a veritable State of the Juggalo Union address given to “the heartbeat of the entire Juggalo world,” that they were planning to sue the FBI in response.
In the agency’s “2011 National Gang Threat Assessment” report, the FBI identified Juggalos (“traditionally fans of the musical group the Insane Clown Posse”) as a “hybrid gang,” specifically “a criminal organization formed on the street” on par the Crips, Bloods, and MS-13. Prior to that, four states individually recognized Juggalos as a gang: California, Pennsylvania, Utah, and Arizona.
Just last month, a 20-year-old Albuquerque Juggalo who’d missed probation after serving time for charges related to two underlying armed robbery cases ended up on New Mexico’s Most Wanted list, his highly-sought fugitive status linked to his explicit affiliation to the “Insane Clown Posse ‘Juggalo'” gang.
“The judge is not going to sentence [people like] him as a civilian,” Violent J told the crowd, referencing that case and others like it. “The judge is going to sentence you as a gang member selling weed.”
Today, Psychopathic Records launched JuggalosFightBack.com, a web site where Juggalos who believe their legal rights have been violated can submit their stories for the label’s legal team to review at no cost. The company has also set up a booth at the Gathering where Juggalos could share their experiences with the Detroit lawyer who’d be building the case against the government.
That silly thing about the FBI classifying Juggalos as a gang? It really isn’t a joke.
UPDATE, 5:40pm CST
Here’s the official press release.
INSANE CLOWN POSSE AND PSYCHOPATHIC RECORDS RETAIN LEGAL COUNSEL TO INVESTIGATE AND PURSUE LEGAL ACTION IN RESPONSE TO THE NATIONAL GANG INTELLIGENCE CENTER’S 2011 NATIONAL GANG THREAT ASSESSMENT
Musical Group to Spearhead Campaign to Defend the Rights of its Fan Base the Juggalos
CAVE-IN-ROCK, IL and LOS ANGELES, CA – AUGUST 10, 2012 – Speaking to their fans and media on the site of their 13th annual “Gathering of the Juggalos” music festival, the Insane Clown Posse expressed concern for the well-being of their fan base, which was labeled a “gang” by The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s National Gang Intelligence Center’s 2011 National Gang Threat Assessment. To that end, the duo of Violent J (Joseph Bruce) and Shaggy 2 Dope (Joseph Utsler) announced that they, along with Psychopathic Records, have retained legal counsel to investigate and pursue legal action including monetary compensation and/or other injunctive relief on behalf of their fan base, the Juggalos.
The 2011 National Gang Threat Assessment lists Insane Clown Posse’s fans, known as Juggalos, under “non-traditional gangs.” The report places Juggalos among such notorious entities as the Aryan Brotherhood, Bloods, Crips and the Latin Kings and states, “…many Juggalos subsets exhibit gang-like behavior and engage in criminal activity and violence. Law enforcement officials in at least 21 states have identified criminal Juggalo sub-sets….”
Shaggy 2 Dope stated, “It’s been almost a year since Juggalos were put on the National Gang Threat Assessment and we are hearing too many stories from our fans about the trouble it’s causing them. Just because you like a music group, doesn’t make you a criminal.”
Violent J said, “We’re not attacking the FBI, but they got this wrong. The Juggalos are not a gang, and that needs to be fixed.”
Video of the Insane Clown Posse’s making their official statement at the “Gathering of the Juggalos” today can be viewed shortly at www.juggalosfightback.com.
Insane Clown Posse and Psychopathic Records’ legal counsel, Howard Hertz of Hertz Schram PC, has released the following statement:
“We are seeking individual Juggalos whose rights have been violated as a result of the mistaken belief that they are a ‘gang member.’ If you or someone you know has suffered any negative consequence with an employer, governmental representative, including law enforcement, border patrol, airline security, or other local, state or federal governmental agency or employee as a result of your status as a Juggalo, we want to know about it.
We are seeking individuals who have experienced any of the following based on a government employee or other’s knowledge of the Juggalo ‘gang’ status as stated in the 2011 National Gang Assessment:
1. Stopped by Border Patrol (U.S., Canadian or otherwise)
2. Stopped or denied ability to fly on an airline
3. Increased criminal sentencing or denial of parole
4. Transfer of a juvenile criminal offender from juvenile court to circuit (“adult”) court
5. Denial of job opportunity, loss of employment
6. Denial of permit to march, boycott, assemble
7. Denial of a vendor to sell Juggalo merchandise
8. An injunction preventing the Juggalos from congregating in any area, wearing Juggalo clothing, displaying tattoos
9. Pulled over or detained by law enforcement
10. Any other denial of a right, liberty, property”
The law firm of Hertz Schram urges Juggalos who meet the above criteria to share their experiences with their legal team at no charge. Juggalos are asked to fill out a short questionnaire that may be completed online at www.juggalosfightback.com.