F--king Lawsuits, How Do They Work?
By Samantha Abernethy in Arts & Entertainment on Sep 27, 2012 3:45PM
Insane Clown Posse: Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope. Credit: Jim Kiernan
The Insane Clown Posse has made good on its promise to sue the Federal Bureau of Investigation for classifying its fans as a gang. The band's legal team filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan "for its failure to produce any documentary evidence in support of the FBI's classification of the groups' fan base."
Gawker reports that ICP filed a Freedom of Information Act request for "whatever information led the organization to label Juggalos a gang" on August 24. Since there was no response, the band filed paperwork on Sept. 25.
The FBI added the juggalos to their gang threat assessment report in the fall of 2011, and defined the group as an "ethnic-based and non-traditional gang." In August, police showed up in strong numbers at the annual Gathering of the Juggalos in Cave-In-Rock, Ill., making at least 10 arrests at the gate. It was the first Gathering since the group was classified as a gang, and as Violent J pointed out, according to the FBI, their concerts are now a gang rally.
At the Gathering, Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope announced their intention to sue the FBI. With airtight logic, Violent J said:
I promise you that fucking Conway Twitty's fucking fans, a great deal of them are probably pedophiles and racist and all type of shit, right? Out of the millions of people that buy Conway Twitty, I promise you there's all kinds of sick shit in there. But nobody is just saying, 'All Conway Twitty fans are pedophiles.' Just like I'm sure there are Juggalos in some cities that are in gangs, that's fine, I understand that, but you can't just say ALL Juggalos are a gang.
ICP says the FBI's gang classification turned ICP merchandise into gang wear that can't be sold in stores. Putting on a concert costs the group more money, especially in terms of insurance. Violent J said the FBI could destroy the 23-year-old group's legacy.
"It's a sure way to take your beautiful painting and piss all over it. And it sucks," Violent J told the Village Voice in August. They're hoping other groups and musicians join their effort, regardless of their taste in music, to say, "this is fucked up."
Many Juggalos have claimed they've been harassed by law enforcement for their connections to “The Family.” ICP started a website called JuggalosFightBack to document incidents. ICP's attorney told Gawker the plan is to sort through the responses and file more lawsuits. The website states:
If you or someone you know have suffered any negative consequence with a governmental representative, including law enforcement, border patrol, airline security, or other local, state or federal governmental agency or employee as a result of your status as a Juggalo, we want to know about it.
If you would like to share your experience and to have your situation reviewed by our legal team - at no charge to you - please fill out our short questionnaire.
So do they have a shot?
"Even if we lose, at least we said, 'Hey man, fuck you,'" Violent J told the Village Voice. "We can't say that we're just going to beat the FBI, but at least we're trying—and we're trying sincerely. We will spend everything we got."