Wednesday, January 8, 2014

City Slang: ICP vs. FBI

Posted By on Wed, Jan 8, 2014 at 3:07 PM

The Insane Clown Posse has filed a lawsuit, alongside the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan, against the FBI in response to that organization classifying the groups fans, or Juggalos, a “loosely organized hybrid gang.” The announcement was made during a press conference at the ACLU in Detroit on Wednesday morning.

In attendance at the press conference were Michael J. Steinberg (legal director at the ACLU), Saura J. Sahu (attorney with Miller, Canfield, Paddock and Stone, acting on behalf of the Juggalos), Howard Hertz (attorney with Hertz Schram, acting on behalf of the Insane Clown Posse), Brandon Bradley (a Juggalo and plaintiff), and Joseph Bruce and Joseph Utsler (Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope of the Insane Clown Posse).

Speaking to the gathered press, Sahu said that, “To paint the Juggalos as a whole is arbitrary and unconstitutional. The FBI wants to demonize the entire group, and they should have solid evidence that it’s a criminal organization before doing so.”

“The ACLU has always stood up for unpopular groups, religious groups, and racial minorities,” said Steinberg. “Targeting the Juggalos is similarly unconstitutional.”

Bradley spoke briefly about the fact that he has been stopped by police three times for no greater crime than wearing ICP-related clothing. “Part of being a juggalo is the right to express yourself,” he said. “It’s a lesson the FBI could learn from us.”

Violent J, who was visibly emotional throughout, said that the band has seen a serious decline in merch sales and concert attendance since the classification was made. “This is un-American bullshit,” he said. “Juggalos have been fired, denied housing, and subjected to searches, just for wearing a shirt. They’re punishing fans for listening to us, and that’s bullshit.”

The Metro Times will be paying close attention as this story continues to develop.

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