Notorious Michigan based hip-hop duo Insane Clown Posse are suing the justice department and the FBI for claiming that their fans were classified by the government as gang members.
Singers Joseph Utsler and Joseph Bruce, better known by their respective stage names Shaggy 2 Dope and Violent J, filed the suit on Wednesday in Detroit’s Federal District Court accusing the government of making the ‘unwarranted and unlawful decision’ to issue a National Gang Threat dubbing the fans a ‘loosely organized hybrid gang.’ It is being jointly filed by the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan.
The singers paint their faces to look like clowns and are known for their ‘controversial, rebellious and provocative’ music that often uses harsh themes and language, according to the lawsuit.
Michael Steinberg, Michigan’s ACLU director said in a statement: “Branding hundreds of thousands of music fans as gang members based on the acts of a few individuals defies logic and violates our most cherished of constitutional rights.”
The gang designation has caused the Juggalos ‘significant harm, including repeated police harassment and denial of employment,’ according to the complaint.
Ulster and Bruce posted a statement on the official Insane Clown Posse website saying “Our legal counsel and the ACLU ‘think that the discrimination, profiling and harassment that Juggalos have been facing over the last few years in (sic) flat out WRONG and un-American.’