DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – Fans of rap-metal music group Insane Clown Posse have lost an appeal to have an FBI report scrubbed of language referring to them as a gang.
Fans of the Detroit based duo, known as “Juggalos,” are upset that a 2011 report given to Congress describes Juggalos as a “loosely organized hybrid gang.” The fans filed a lawsuit in Detroit, blaming the report for harassment by police, among other things.
The fans often have jewelry and tattoos with the group’s symbol, a man running with a hatchet.
A 3-judge panel at the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Monday that the report carries no direct legal consequences. The court also says the Justice Department isn’t responsible for how other police agencies use information in the annual report.
“We’re certainly disappointed,” said Michael Steinberg, legal director for The American Civil Liberties Union, which is representing ICP fans in the case. However, he stressed,” At point in time did the court hold that Juggalos are a gang.
The ACLU has said the free speech and due process rights of Insane Clown Posse and fans are being violated, and that Juggalos have been denied jobs and even denied entrance to the military as a result of the FBI report.
Because of the government’s actions, ICP member Joseph Bruce, known as Violent J, claimed some stores now refuse to carry ICP music; and, said Steinberg, “In fact, the police were pulling them over because they had a logo that suggested that they were a Juggalo.”
Steinberg said that although this wasn’t the decision Juggalos had hoped for, they’re glad that the suit has raised awareness.
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