Artist News Legal

Insane Clown Posse lose latest legal bid over fans’ gang classification

By | Published on Wednesday 20 December 2017

Insane Clown Posse

Insane Clown Posse have lost a court appeal to have their fans, known as Juggalos, delisted as a criminal gang by the FBI. This story dates back to 2011, when Juggalos were listed as a “loosely-organised hybrid gang” in the FBI’s National Gang Threat Assessment report.

The hip hop duo have launched a number of legal actions against this listing, arguing that simply liking their music was becoming problematic for many ICP fans. The group claim that people have lost jobs, lost custody of children, been unfairly arrested, been refused entry into the military, and more, simply for being Juggalos.

In September this year, more than 1000 Juggalos marched on Washington as an attempt to raise awareness for their plight. They argue that the gang classification is a violation of their fans’ first and fifth amendment rights. The first amendment allows for freedom of expression, while the fifth amendment protects US citizens against having to incriminate themselves.

In court this week, ICP’s legal team called up various Juggalos to describe issues they had faced by being fans of the group. According to the New York Post, one said that he had been detained by police for displaying an ICP window sticker in his truck. Another said that he had been told by an army recruitment officer that he would have to have ICP tattoos permanently removed in order to join the military.

However, the Sixth Circuit court of appeals did not sympathise, saying that the duo had “failed to demonstrate that the Juggalo gang designation results in legal consequences”.

The court added that the 2011 FBI list was for information purposes only and not legally binding in itself. Therefore, any view taken by officials on how to treat Juggalos was their own and not the cause of the FBI report for the National Gang Intelligence Center.

“The government officials who harmed appellants were not bound by the Juggalo gang designation nor were they required to consider the 2011 NGIC report”, said the court in its ruling. “Thus, the government officials’ actions are not the direct consequences of the Juggalo gang designation in the 2011 NGIC report, but are the product of their own independent decision making”.

Insane Clown Posse have not yet commented on the ruling.