Fedblog FedblogFedblog
Government Executive Editor in Chief Tom Shoop, along with other editors and staff correspondents, look at the federal bureaucracy from the outside in.

DoJ to Federal Judge: Dismiss Insane Clown Posse's Lawsuit

ARCHIVES
From left, Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope filed the lawsuit in January. From left, Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope filed the lawsuit in January. Carlos Osorio/AP

The Justice Department Monday asked a judge to dismiss a lawsuit from rap duo Insane Clown Posse, which asked for the removal of "criminal intelligence information" about the group's fans.

The Associated Press reports that Justice is claiming that the rappers and their fanbase -- self-proclaimed "Juggalos" -- "have no standing to sue." The rappers have said an FBI report, which classifies the Juggalos as a gang, is causing the group to lose fans and that it "scared people away from attending concerts and from affiliating together." Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope (née Joseph Bruce and Joseph Utsler) and fans from four states are the plaintiffs in the suit, announced in the fall and filed in January. The fans claim that they've been subjected to police harassment and unconstitutional searches because of their affinity for the Detroit-area duo.

The lawsuit stems from a 2011 FBI report. In “National Gang Threat Assessment: Emerging Trends,” the FBI placed Juggalos next to organized crime groups and street gangs like the Miami-based Zoe Pound Haitian street gang and the infamous Latin Kings. The report called the Juggalos "a loosely-organized hybrid gang" and cited crimes committed by fans of ICP. It also warned of an expansion of Juggalo criminal culture.

Most crimes committed by Juggalos are sporadic, disorganized, individualistic, and often involve simple assault, personal drug use and possession, petty theft, and vandalism. However, open source reporting suggests that a small number of Juggalos are forming more organized subsets and engaging in more gang-like criminal activity, such as felony assaults, thefts, robberies, and drug sales. Social networking websites are a popular conveyance for Juggalo sub-culture to communicate and expand.

Heavily influenced by earlier "Horrorcore" groups like Flatlinerz and Gravediggaz, ICP's music is over-the-top in its violent circus-like imagery. Juggalo culture is widespread, with Juggalos using their own slang, idioms and style of dress. There was, for a time, an online dating site for fans of the group, Juggalove.com, for Juggalos and Juggalettes to find the perfect match. Juggalos often sport ICP tattoos, paint their faces like clowns and come together for the annual Gathering of the Juggalos. The gathering is an annual outdoor music festival that started in 1999. In recent years, mainstream journalists have have exposed the Gathering to a wider audience. ICP's label, Psychopathic Records, sports a logo called "Hatchetman" that fans get tattooed on themselves.

A Detroit federal judge will hold a hearing this week on whether to dismiss the case or not.

Prior to joining Government Executive’s staff, Ross Gianfortune worked at The Washington Post, The Gazette Newspapers, WXRT Radio and The Columbia Missourian. He holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from University of Missouri and a master's in communications from the American University.

FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by G Suite

    Cross-Agency Teamwork, Anytime and Anywhere

    Dan McCrae, director of IT service delivery division, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

    Download
  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

    Download
  • Sponsored by One Identity

    One Nation Under Guard: Securing User Identities Across State and Local Government

    In 2016, the government can expect even more sophisticated threats on the horizon, making it all the more imperative that agencies enforce proper identity and access management (IAM) practices. In order to better measure the current state of IAM at the state and local level, Government Business Council (GBC) conducted an in-depth research study of state and local employees.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    The Next Federal Evolution of Cloud

    This GBC report explains the evolution of cloud computing in federal government, and provides an outlook for the future of the cloud in government IT.

    Download
  • Sponsored by LTC Partners, administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

    Approaching the Brink of Federal Retirement

    Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day, and a growing number of federal employees are preparing themselves for the next chapter of their lives. Learn how to tackle the challenges that today's workforce faces in laying the groundwork for a smooth and secure retirement.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cyber Defense 101: Arming the Next Generation of Government Employees

    Read this issue brief to learn about the sector's most potent challenges in the new cyber landscape and how government organizations are building a robust, threat-aware infrastructure

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    GBC Issue Brief: Cultivating Digital Services in the Federal Landscape

    Read this GBC issue brief to learn more about the current state of digital services in the government, and how key players are pushing enhancements towards a user-centric approach.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.