Reporting Charlie Langton
DETROIT (CBS Detroit) The traditional Insane Clown Posse Halloween concert was removed from suburban Royal Oak after local police protested that the band’s fans are dangerous because they’re listed on the FBI’s gang list.
And that’s just one item on the long list of affronts against ICP fans — known as Juggalos — since the FBI gave them the gang designation, according to ICP attorney Howard Hertz.
Hertz is suing the FBI to uncover why Juggalos are on the National Gang Threat Assessment list, which classifies Juggalos as a “loosely-organized hybrid gang,” and to have them removed.
“ICP and the Juggalos are being harmed by this gang designation — they’re being denied their rights,” Hertz said, adding the Royal Oak concert proves fans are being “denied their right to assemble.”
“We do know that for sure,” Hertz said. “We were holding this concert called ‘Hallowicked’ every year for over 10 years … This year they decided to go back to the Royal Oak Music Theatre, they entered into an agreement to have the concert there.”
The tickets had sold out, but Hertz said about two weeks ago, the Royal Oak Music Theatre told them they received a memo from the Royal Oak Police Department asking them to cancel the show at the 2,000-seat venue, with of the reasons being the Juggalos are on the FBI’s gang list.
“The police felt like they couldn’t assure themselves of being able to control the situation because of that (designation),” Hertz said.
He added it’s ridiculous because ICP played at the Arts, Beats & Eats festival, where hundreds of thousands of people converged Labor Day weekend on the streets of Royal Oak.
Beyond the concert, he added Juggalos have lost custody of their kids, been detained in separate jail cells, been pulled over because of Juggalo bumper stickers, photographed and put into local police gang databases.
“It’s a bad thing for America,” Hertz said about the designation.
Despite their violent lyrics and bloody, aggressive visuals, Hertz said ICP’s fans are just like the Grateful Dead’s Deadheads or Jimmy Buffett’s Parrorheads. They’re just music fans, he said. ICP fans meet annually for the Gathering of the Juggalos, a four-day celebration that includes concerts, wrestling, games, contests, and more.
“I think it’s absurd, of course they’re not gang members, they’re lawyers, they’re doctors,” he said.
Langton pointed out that several violent crimes have been committed recently, including robberies and killings, but Hertz said crimes can be associated with any large group.
“My law firm filed a FOI of the FBI asking them to provide us … everything they have leading them to believe the Juggalos are the gang.”
And he defended the band, whose lyrics include “Cut a hole in your head till I hit brains. Left a cop in the pile While maybe it’s the night of the chainsaw baby.”
“It’s horror core, in other words, it’s like Halloween every night … It’s not meant to reflect reality, it’s not telling people to go out and do it … What about Detroit Lions fans, let’s see, they gather together … They pay for their seats, they get drunk, they get into fights at the game — are they gang members?” Hertz said.