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Tag: ICP

Boston Globe Editorial: FBI’s Designation of Clown Posse Fans As Gang Members is Clownish

By The Boston Globe
Editorial Page

Throughout their two decades on the charts, the hip hop duo Insane Clown Posse’s over-the-top theatrics and often violent lyrics have put off many listeners. The fact that many of their fans — who refer to themselves as Juggalos — show their devotion with clown makeup and elaborate tattoos has further cemented the duo’s status as musical outlaws.

But should they literally be regarded as outlaws? The FBI seems to think so. In 2011, its National Gang Intelligence Center categorized the Juggalos as a gang. It’s a loose designation that causes more confusion than clarity, and raises uncomfortable concerns about judging people by their musical tastes rather than their actions. The FBI should be able to fight crime by face-painted villains without tarnishing all the followers of the group.

On Jan. 8, the band, along with four self-proclaimed Juggalos and the American Civil Liberties Union, filed a lawsuit in federal court contesting the designation. According to the complaint, being erroneously labeled a gang member has led to Juggalos with no criminal records being harassed by the police. Individual plaintiffs describe being subjected to traffic stops due to their tattoos or Insane Clown Posse bumper stickers or shirts.

To read more click here.

Michigan Rap Group, Insane Clown Posse, Sues FBI over Designating Fans as Criminal Gang Members

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Saying the FBI has unfairly targeted fans of a Michigan rap group as criminal gang members, attorneys for Insane Clown Posse filed suit against the bureau Wednesday, the New York Times reports.

The lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Detroit claims the gang designation was unwarranted and has lead to harassment by law enforcement.

Four of the fans, known as Juggalos, also filed suit, saying they were unfairly targeted because of the music they like.

One of them, Brandon Bradley, of California, said he was pulled over by police several times because of his Juggalo tattoos and clothing.

“I’m a peaceful person and I try to live my life right,” he said.

The FBI declined to comment on the lawsuit, but in the past said Juggalos have a history of violence.

FBI’s Investigation into Insane Clown Posse Began After Two Salt Lake City Arrests

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

The FBI’s decision to label fans of the Insane Clown Posse as a nationwide gang threat was made after just two arrests, Wired.com reports.

Fans of the Detroit-based rapping duo were part of a “loosely-organized hybrid gang” that’s “forming more organized subsets and engaging in more gang-like criminal activity,” the FBI concluded in 2011.

New records show the investigation was launched following two arrests of two fans – called Juggalos – in Salt Lake City.

After a seven-month investigation into the group, the FBI warned that fans are part of a dangerous sub-culture, Wired.com reported.

FBI: Fans of Detroit-Based Rap Group Belong to Hybrid Gang

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

DETROIT — The headline on the U.S. Marshal’s press release announced, “Gang Member Removed from New Mexico’s Most Wanted.”

Turns out, 20-year-old Mark Anthony Carlson was wanted for missing probation. And oh yes, more importantly, he is a “Juggalo,” a fan of the Detroit-based rap group, Insane Clown Posse, reports the Village Voice.

And according to the FBI’s 2011 National Gang Threat Assessment, Juggalos are a “criminal organization formed on the street,” lumping them with Crips and Bloods.

“Because of their multiple affiliations, ethnicities, migratory nature, and nebulous structure, hybrid gangs are difficult to track, identify, and target as they are transient and continuously evolving,” the FBI report reads.

The Village Voice noted in its story about the Juggalo:

Initially, this seemed amusingly ludicrous, another example of a federal agency looking foolish for its cultural ineptitude. “The FBI has recently had difficulty distinguishing ordinary American Muslims from terrorists,” wrote Wired’s Spencer Ackerman, who first wrote about the FBI’s Juggalo gang-list inclusion. “Now it appears it has a similar problem distinguishing teenage fads from criminal conspiracies.” Except that a seemingly silly judgment tucked away in a federal document is beginning to have tangible consequences.