After the Insane Clown Posse sued the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigations for designating their fans, the Juggalos, as a "loosely organized hybrid gang," and the suit was subsequently dismissed, the rap-metal duo has appealed the case, according to several reports.
The American Civil Liberties Union will represent the ICP and the Juggalos in this appeal (in the first case, the ACLU represented the Juggalos, while the ICP was represented by Detroit law firm Hertz Schram P.C.). "We are obviously disappointed and surprised by the ruling," a representative from the ACLU told Billboard. "As a matter of law, and as a matter of logic, when the FBI says a group is a gang, it's foreseeable the local law enforcement is going to target members of that group. The mere fact that the Juggalos were stopped by police officers of local agencies does not excuse the FBI from designating Juggalos as a gang and getting off the hook."
In their original lawsuit, the ICP members Violent J (Joseph Bruce) and Shaggy 2 Dope (Joey Utsler) alleged that the Juggalos had been victimized by local police for wearing jewelry or tattoos with the group's symbol following a 2011 FBI report that those who identify as Juggalos have committed assaults and vandalism, and a "small number" of them have engaged in more serious crimes.
"We're not a gang," Shaggy 2 Dope said at a press conference at the time. "We're a family -- a diverse group of men and women united by our love of music, and nothing more. We're not a threat, a public menace or a danger to society...and it's time the FBI recognizes that. We will prevail in this fight to clear the Juggalo family name, because not to would be bullshit."
The case was dismissed by U.S. District Judge Robert Cleland, who said the FBI was not responsible for the behavior of local authorities due to a report that "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."