The Insane Clown Posse's FBI lawsuit threat may make the hip-hop duo "nervious" [sic], but they apparently aren't clowning around.
The potential lawsuit seeks to stop the FBI from "violat[ing] the rights of Juggalos" -- which is what ICP fans are called -- "on the mistaken belief that they are 'gang members,'" according to a statement posted on a new website, JuggalosFightBack.com.
The FBI's 2011 National Gang Threat Assessment report identifies Juggalos as a "hybrid gang" akin to violent groups like the Crips, Bloods, and MS-13, The Village Voice reports. That recently led to a 20-year-old ICP fan being labeled a "gang member."
The fan, Mark Carlson of New Mexico, was arrested in July on an outstanding warrant. In announcing the “gang member’s” arrest, the U.S. Marshals Service noted Carlson “is a member of the Insane Clown Posse ‘Juggalo’ gang.”
At an annual gathering of Juggalos on Friday, the ICP’s Violent J (whose real name is Joseph Bruce) cited Carlson’s case as triggering the Insane Clown Posse’s potential FBI lawsuit. “The judge is not going to sentence [people like] him as a civilian,” Bruce told the crowd, according to The Village Voice. “The judge is going to sentence you as a gang member.”
Being labeled a gang member can result in much harsher penalties for certain crimes, according to the Justice Department’s National Gang Center.
To fight back, the Insane Clown Posse’s new website is offering a free legal review to any ICP fan who may have been profiled or harassed. Fans can fill out a form online, for potential inclusion in a possible lawsuit.
“We’re not attacking the FBI, but they got this wrong,” Bruce said in a statement. “The Juggalos are not a gang, and that needs to be fixed.”
The Insane Clown Posse’s FBI lawsuit threat seems to reflect the hip-hop duo’s in-your-face style, but it appears even fearless clowns can be unnerved: The potential suit is “probably the biggest announcement of our career,” the duo said via Twitter. “Yes we’re nervious [sic].”