ACLU Asks Appeals Court to Reinstate Lawsuit on Behalf of Rap Duo Insane Clown Posse and its Fans

November 21, 2014

DETROIT — The American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan today urged a federal appeals court to reinstate its lawsuit against the U.S. Justice Department and the FBI on behalf of rap duo Insane Clown Posse and the group’s fans, also known as Juggalos.

Arguing that the suit was wrongly dismissed, the ACLU filed a brief with the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals charging that that the federal agencies branded the Juggalos “a loosely affiliated hybrid gang” in violation of the fans’ First Amendment rights and that the designation has led to unjust investigations, unfair detentions and other infringements on fans’ personal rights by government officials.

Even though local police officers say they rely on the FBI gang designation when they detain Juggalos, a federal district judge dismissed the case because the FBI never directed local law enforcement to violate the rights of Juggalos.

VIDEO: Watch an update on the case from Michael Steinberg

The following can be attributed to Michael J. Steinberg, ACLU of Michigan legal director:

“It should surprise no one that when the FBI tells local police officers that certain music fans are members of a criminal gang, the police are going to target individuals who express passion for the music. The FBI started this problem and it must end it by retracting a false and unconstitutional gang label that is causing serious harm to thousands of law abiding Americans.”

Key News & Documents
For legal documents, blogs, and videos, go to the Juggalos case page
Read the ACLU’s brief filed today
Read the lower court’s ruling
Read the ACLU’s complaint