Insane Clown Posse and Psychopathic Records have filed suit against the Federal Bureau of Investigation. In 2011, the FBI released it’s national threat assessment and included Juggalos as a “loosely-organized hybrid gang.” According to the ICP’s statement on their website, www.insaneclownposse.com, this is the first time that music fans have been grouped together and accused of being a gang organization solely for their music preference. ICP believes this designation is undeserved, declaring that Juggalos are not a gang, “We are a family!”
The suit claims that the government failed to respond to requests for the information the FBI used in making their report. But ICP is also gathering information on its own, calling on Juggalos to submit “Legal Action Questionaires” online, describing how they have been mistreated.
The debate over whether Juggalos are a gang has been going in Utah for several years. In January 2009, Scott Tyler Stapley, a self-proclaimed Juggalo, was convicted of first-degree felony attempted murder for attacking a 17-year-old boy with a medieval battle-axe. Since that time, Utah law enforcement has connected other violent crime with individuals identified as Juggalos. See Melinda Rogers, Juggalos: Family or Gang, Salt Lake Trib. (Oct. 2, 2009, 8:32PM). Whether these singular violent incidents and others nationwide are sufficient to create a pattern of criminal activity deserving a gang designation seems to be a legitimate legal question, best answered by the data relied on by the FBI.
For those of you still wondering what a Juggalo is, ICP has answered that question in song form. We will leave it to the reader to explore that fully, due to potentially explicit content, but what we do know is that they seem to be “down with the clown, yo.” See Insane Clown Posse, “What is a Juggalo?”