By Jay Tilles
In January, Insane Clown Posse and the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan filed a lawsuit against the FBI and the American Justice Department for the “unwarranted and unlawful decision” to tag its followers as gang members and subsequently treating them as such.
But now U.S. District Judge Robert Cleland has dismissed the rap-metal duo’s lawsuit, reports the Detroit Free Press.
Within the 14-page opinion released last week, Cleland noted the FBI’s gang threat assessment “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.”
ICP’s lawsuit was prompted after the FBI’s 2011 report titled “National Gang Threat Assessment: Emerging Trends,”a document that classified their fans, commonly known as Juggalos, as a “loosely organized hybrid gang,” with warnings that they’d begun expanding across the country and were known to “exhibit gang-like behavior and engage in criminal activity and violence.”
ICP and the ACLU have stated they will appeal the court’s decision. “This is not the end. We’ll keep fighting to clear the Juggalo family name,” said Insane Clown Posse’s Violent J, in a statement released by the Michigan ACLU.
ACLU of Michigan (@ACLUofMichigan) July 08, 2014
“The only way to remedy this injustice for all innocent Juggalos is to start with the root of the problem – the FBI’s arbitrary and erroneous branding of hundreds of thousands of music fans as gang members,” Michael J. Steinberg, ACLU of Michigan legal director, added in the release. “There is no doubt that the FBI created this problem and the solution begins there as well. Otherwise, we’ll be playing whack-o-mole to stop local law enforcement agencies from discriminating against our clients, when the agencies are just following the FBI’s lead.”