Insane Clown Posse Sues the FBI for Thinking They Are a Gang

Michael J. Steinberg, legal director for the ACLU of Michigan addresses the media as members of the Insane Clown Posse listen in Detroit. Michael J. Steinberg, legal director for the ACLU of Michigan addresses the media as members of the Insane Clown Posse listen in Detroit. Carlos Osorio/AP

The "horrorcore" rap group Insane Clown Posse filed a federal lawsuit against the FBI and the Justice Department today for the “unwarranted and unlawful decision” to label the Juggalos a "loosely-affiliated hybrid gang" back in 2011. That moniker has meant unfair police treatment and “significant harm” to the Posse's many fans, according to the complaint, filed with help from the ACLU.

Conflating Juggalos with gangs is absurd, preposterous, and any other synonym for insane, the Posse explains. "Organized crime is by no means part of the Juggalo culture," the complaint reads. Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope (legally, Joseph Bruce and Joseph Utsler) say they are neither engaged in organized violence nor mass scale dope dealing, even though their fans — as evidenced by their massive annual festival known as "The Gathering of the Juggalos" — are quite organized. But mostly harmless.

The Insane Clown Posse has been mulling a suit against the FBI for some time, and gathered evidence of what the group alleges is unfair treatment directed at their fans. Four Juggalos joined in the suit to tell personal stories of mistreatment. One of those suing said he has been consistently stopped by police for wearing a necklace of a man with a hatchet (right), a symbol of the Insane Clown Posse. Another fan claims that the Army told him he had to get rid of his Juggalo tattoos before he could join because they were gang-related.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
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)

  • 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.

  • Federal IT Applications: Assessing Government's Core Drivers

    In order to better understand the current state of external and internal-facing agency workplace applications, Government Business Council (GBC) and Riverbed undertook an in-depth research study of federal employees. Overall, survey findings indicate that federal IT applications still face a gamut of challenges with regard to quality, reliability, and performance management.

  • PIV- I And Multifactor Authentication: The Best Defense for Federal Government Contractors

    This white paper explores NIST SP 800-171 and why compliance is critical to federal government contractors, especially those that work with the Department of Defense, as well as how leveraging PIV-I credentialing with multifactor authentication can be used as a defense against cyberattacks

  • Toward A More Innovative Government

    This research study aims to understand how state and local leaders regard their agency’s innovation efforts and what they are doing to overcome the challenges they face in successfully implementing these efforts.

  • From Volume to Value: UK’s NHS Digital Provides U.S. Healthcare Agencies A Roadmap For Value-Based Payment Models

    The U.S. healthcare industry is rapidly moving away from traditional fee-for-service models and towards value-based purchasing that reimburses physicians for quality of care in place of frequency of care.

  • GBC Flash Poll: Is Your Agency Safe?

    Federal leaders weigh in on the state of information security


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