On Wednesday, the Insane Clown Posse filed its lawsuit—which they announced last fall— against the FBI, who the clown duo says has caused "significant harm" to its fans, known as Juggalos, by classifying them as a "a loosely-organized hybrid gang."
"Organized crime is by no means part of the Juggalo culture," the complaint, filed by lawyers for ICP and from the ACLU, reads. The suit claims the "unconstitutionally vague" designation has led to unconstitutional searches and intimidation of Juggalos by law enforcement agents.
"The FBI had the impact they wanted: they scared people away from attending concerts and from affiliating together for the purpose of listening to music," Saura Sahu, an attorney assisting the ACLU of Michigan, told Rolling Stone, noting the decline in attendance at this summer's Gather of the Juggalos festival.
Insane Clown Posse members Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope (née Joseph Bruce and Joseph Utsler) are plaintiffs in the suit as are Juggalos from Nevada, North Carolina, Iowa, and California who claim they've been subjected to police harassment because of their status as ICP fans. From the New York Times:
Brandon Bradley, from Citrus Heights, Calif., and one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, said at a news conference in Detroit on Wednesday that he had been stopped and questioned by police on several occasions because he wore Juggalo tattoos and clothing. He said that after a lifetime of feeling like an outsider, the music of Insane Clown Posse "told me I wasn't alone."
He added that he was standing up "for people like me who are being discriminated against, just because of the music we listen to."
"I'm a peaceful person and I try to live my life right," he said.
Other plaintiffs also said they were targeted because of their Juggalo bumper stickers or tattoos, including one man—Scott Gandy from North Carolina—who said he was told by an Army recruitment office that he could not join the military unless he removed his Insane Clown Posse tattoos.
The lawsuit is seeking the deletion of "criminal intelligence information" about Juggalos from law enforcement databases and a court order prohibiting the future targeting of Juggalos without "sufficient facts" of a "definable criminal activity or enterprise."
[Image via AP]