When news broke long ago that Insane Clown Posse and their dedicated fans, known as Juggalos, were to be classified as a “gang’ by none other than our beloved FBI, most familiar with the group likely thought “Makes sense.” These are hatchet wielding psycho clowns we’re talking about, after all. They chug Faygo cola with little or no regard to their teeth and–in a true sign of psychosis–wear hockey jerseys as casual attire.
Well, naturally, ICP have not been thrilled about this classification, and are making good on their promise long ago to
murder everyone sue.
From the 2011 FBI report titled “National Gang Threat Assessment: Emerging Trends” came these justifications for the new classification.
-The Juggalos, a loosely-organized hybrid gang, are rapidly expanding into many US communities. Although recognized as a gang in only four states, many Juggalos subsets exhibit gang-like behavior and engage in criminal activity and violence. Law enforcement officials in at least 21 states have identified criminal Juggalo sub-sets, according to NGIC reporting.
-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.
In January 2011, a suspected Juggalo member shot and wounded a couple in King County, Washington, according to open source reporting.
-Juggalos’ disorganization and lack of structure within their groups, coupled with their transient nature, makes it difficult to classify them and identify their members and migration patterns. Many criminal Juggalo sub-sets are comprised of transient or homeless individuals, according to law enforcement reporting. Most Juggalo criminal groups are not motivated to migrate based upon traditional needs of a gang. However, law enforcement reporting suggests that Juggalo criminal activity has increased over the past several years and has expanded to several other states. Transient, criminal Juggalo groups pose a threat to communities due to the potential for violence, drug use/sales, and their general destructive and violent nature.
-In January 2010, two suspected Juggalo associates were charged with beating and robbing an elderly homeless man
The FBI and The Department of Justice are in the ICP’s legal cross-hairs, over what they consider to be a terrible and totally unfair slur against their followers. As a result, they’ve filed a complaint that reads, in part, “Organized crime is by no means part of the Juggalo culture.”
In any case, this reclassification has been a while in coming. And The FBI’s National Gang Intelligence Center has been doing their homework on The Juggalos who, when they come to town for an ICP concert, usually leave it looking like Dresden circa 1944. The Department has stated that The Juggalos are, “a loosely-organized, hybrid gang,” one with multiple affiliations.
Understandably outraged, ICP have lawyers from The ACLU contesting the reclassification, based on such aesthetic reasons. And they have a point. The way people dress should never affect the way they’re treated or thought of. The two held a press conference Wednesday of last week about the matter at hand. “The Juggalos are fighting for their basic human right to freely express who they are,” said Michael J. Steinberg, legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union in Detroit. “To gather and share their appreciation of music, and to discuss issues that are important to them without fear of being unfairly targeted and harassed by police.”
Still, the Justice Department claims to have their reasons for calling the ICP’s fans a “gang.” Much of it, apparently, as a result of that yearly event in August known as The Gathering of the Juggalos. Last year’s gathering, resulted in numerous drug arrests, and one death. This year, Cave-In_Rock, Ill, announced they’d no longer host The Gathering.
We’ll keep tabs on this story as it develops.
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