Fans of rap-metal music group Insane Clown Posse have lost an appeal to have an FBI report scrubbed of language referring to them as a gang.
The group’s fans are known as Juggalos. They’re upset that a 2011 report given to Congress describes Juggalos as a “loosely organized hybrid gang.” The fans filed a lawsuit in Detroit, blaming the report for harassment by police. The FBI tagged Juggalos as a gang in their 2011 National Gang Threat Assessment, saying the face-painted group’s fans engaged in “sporadic, disorganized, individualistic” crimes including “simple assault, personal drug use and possession, petty theft and vandalism.”
Rappers Shaggy 2 Dope and Violent J teamed with the ACLU and a handful of Juggalos in 2014 to file suit against the FBI and Dept. of Justice denying that organized criminal activity is not part of Juggalo culture and that the designation has caused unnecessary problems for the fans, from troubles in the armed services to harassment by police.
The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Monday (Dec. 18) that the report carries no direct legal consequences. The court also says the Justice Department isn’t responsible for how other police agencies use information in the annual report. The ACLU is representing the fans. The organization didn’t immediately return an email seeking comment.
The fans often have jewelry and tattoos with the group’s symbol, a man running with a hatchet. ICP led their fans in the so-called Million Juggalo March on Washington, D.C. in September in an attempt to protest the FBI gang designation. At press time is was unclear if ICP plan to appeal the latest ruling.