It just ain’t easy being a Juggalo in modern America.
US District Court judge Robert Cleland ruled last week that the FBI did nothing wrong when it named the semi-frightening fan base of rap-metal group Insane Clown Posse a “loosely organized hybrid gang” in a 2011 report. The fans got tagged with the label thanks to some of their members’ criminal activity — assault, vandalism and worse — and the fact that their logo is a man running with a hatchet.
The group came to the FBI’s attention in 2007 after its annual “Gathering of the Juggalos” saw 6000 fans take by storm a town of 400 people in Illinois. That event saw 22 people related on drug-related charges. Teens who identified as Juggalos were founding beating homeless people in Oregon, while two Seattle Juggalos were charged with murder.
Juggalos claimed in a lawsuit back by the ACLU that they were being discriminated against by police who saw their eccentric style as signs of dangerous gang behavior, but the ruling found that this was not the government’s fault.
Also read: Insane Clown Posse Plans to Sue the FBI
The label, Cleland wrote, “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.”
Displeased with the verdict, ICP member Violent J promised to not rest until it was overturned.
“This is not the end. We’ll keep fighting to clear the Juggalo family name,” he said in a statement. “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.”