The Juggalos, fans of the group Insane Clown Posse, will continue to be considered a gang after ICP and a group of followers lost their court case.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit has said that the FBI labeling of the fans as a gang in a 2011 report could not be challenged at this time because the original decision was not “a final agency action”.
In the original report, the FBI warned about the rise of the Juggalos as a possibly dangerous group based on the actions of a few individuals. The court determined that this was a warning to law enforcement and not an official placing of the group on their gang list.
The two members of ICP, Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope, filed their lawsuit on January 8, 2014 along with the American Civil Liberty Union, two members who said that the label had gotten them in trouble with police and two other members who said that the “gang” moniker had jeopardized their military careers. The suit has been winding its way through the courts ever since.
The Juggalo name first was used during a 1994 ICP show when, during a performance of the song “The Juggala”, Violent J addressed the crowd as “Juggalos”. Shaggy 2 Dope described the group as coming “from all walks of life – from poverty, from rich, from all religions, all colors. … It doesn’t matter if you’re born with a silver spoon in your mouth, or a crack rock in your mouth.”
Insane Clown Posse are no strangers to controversy. Their manager contacted Disney in 1996 and negotiated for the company’s Hollywood Records to buy out the group’s agreement with Battery (Jive). The duo went in the studio and recorded The Great Milenko. Why Disney took the group on is unknown (“Hey, it says ‘Clown’ in their name!”) but they knew early on that they were in trouble, asking for numerous lyric changes and that three songs be fully removed from the album. ICP complied and the album was released but Disney made the decision to recall it mere hours later. It later came out that the company was under pressure from the Southern Baptist Convention who cited ICP, the Disney produced television show Ellen and Disneyland’s “Gay Days” as not being conducive with family values. The later signed with Island who released the album in its original form.