The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Detroit judge hears arguments in lawsuit challenging FBI gang tag on Insane Clown Posse fans

  • Print

DETROIT - Lawyers for the federal government and fans of rap-metal duo Insane Clown Posse clashed in court Monday over whether the FBI can be sued for the negative fallout of describing them as a loosely organized gang.

Some fans, called Juggalos, claim to have lost custody of children, lost jobs and been denied housing simply because they enjoy the music of the duo from the Detroit area. Another fan was told he couldn't apply to the Army without removing or covering Insane Clown Posse tattoos, usually a man running with a hatchet.

Justice Department attorney Amy Powell said the group and its fans have no standing to sue. She said the government is not responsible for how police agencies use information in the 2011 national gang report.

Powell said a "subjective chill" as alleged by plaintiffs was not enough to be in court.

"There is no general right of protection to a social association," she said, referring to First Amendment violations argued by Insane Clown Posse and its fans.

The FBI report labeled the Juggalos as a "loosely organized hybrid gang." It said those who identify as Juggalos have committed assaults and vandalism, and a "small number" of them have engaged in more serious crimes.

There is no reference to Juggalos in the 2013 report, Powell told U.S. District Judge Robert Cleland.

Saura Sahu, an attorney for four fans, encouraged the judge to keep the lawsuit alive. He said the government's analysis of gangs is critical information for police but the report "went too far here."

Cleland suggested the government has the upper hand in the case. He said he'd probably make a decision in July.

Insane Clown Posse members Joseph Bruce, or Violent J, and Joseph Utsler, known as Shaggy 2 Dope, are plaintiffs but didn't appear in court Monday. They are known for wearing face paint when they perform.

___

Follow Ed White at http://twitter.com/edwhiteap

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Maria Aragon performs new single "Nothing but a Beat"

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A Yellow-bellied Sapsucker hangs out on a birch tree in St. Vital. The Yellow-bellied Sapsucker is considered a keystone species. Other species take advantage of the holes that the birds make in trees. A group of sapsuckers are collectively known as a
  • MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS 060711 Chris Pedersen breeds Monarch butterflies in his back yard in East Selkirk watching as it transforms from the Larva or caterpillar through the Chrysalis stage to an adult Monarch. Here an adult Monarch within an hour of it emerging from the Chrysalis which can be seen underneath it.

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Do high-profile endorsements for political candidates influence your voting decisions?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google