Beware the Juggalo. Or at least that's what the FBI wants you to believe. Since 2011 Juggalos have been classified as "criminal gang members" by law enforcement, but an appeal to change that description was filed Tuesday.
What's a Juggalo, you ask? Well, they're diehard fans of the horrorcore rap duo Insane Clown Posse. They typically sport the iconic ICP "Hatchet Man" emblem somewhere or another and may paint their faces like clowns. (Via Fuse)
The gang membership classification came from a 2011 FBI National Gang Intelligence Center report where the Juggalos were described as a "loosely-organized hybrid gang" and suggested they may perform "felony assaults, thefts, robberies, and drug sales." (Via FBI)
ICP rappers Joseph "Violent J" Bruce and Joseph "Shaggy 2 Dope" Utsler, along with the American Civil Liberty Union of Michigan and four Juggalo plaintiffs, filed a federal lawsuit in January claiming the designation has violated fans' constitutional rights. (Via YouTube / TheAmericanTime's channel)
"The FBI's gang designation has caused real lasting harm to the Juggalos. Parents have lost custody of their kids, they've been fired from jobs, they've been denied housing." (Via ACLU)
According to MLive.com, one of the Juggalo plaintiffs was forced to alter his tattoo in order to apply to join the army, changing it from "I like ICP" to "I like fish".
But, it wasn't meant to be. Last week a U.S. District Judge dismissed the lawsuit with a Justice Department attorney arguing that the report didn't actually force any agency to take specific action against Juggalos.
A notice of intention to appeal the decision was filed Tuesday with Violent J saying "This is not the end — we'll keep fighting to clear the Juggallo family name" in a statement released by the ACLU.
The case will now be taken to the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals.