“Criminal activity among Juggalo groups poses an immediate threat to the community and law enforcement,” the National Gang Threat Assessment document stated.
“The nature of their criminal activity (assaults, thefts, drug use/sales, and vandalism) directly impacts members of the community and the community itself. The sizeable Juggalo community will allow these groups to continue to expand outside of their local areas due to the wide-spread Juggalo family mentality, and their ability to claim “family” affiliation rather than a gang. The formation of rivalries or alliances to gangs outside of their group will allow the Juggalos to evolve into a more sophisticated criminal entity through associations with hardened, experienced gang members.”
There have indeed been a number of grizzly and violent murders attributed to self-described Juggalos, including stabbing a war veteran with a meat cleaver to act out ICP song lyrics, going into a gay bar in Massachusetts and attacking patrons with a meat cleaver before killing a cop, and a Juggalette murdering a nine year old neighbor.
The Arizona Department of Public Safety also issued a warning about the duo’s fans, saying, “Some of the homicides we’re seeing with these guys are pretty nasty, gruesome, disgusting homicides, where they don’t care who’s around, what’s around, they’re just out to kill anybody.”
Since 1999 the rap-metal duo — consisting of Joseph Bruce, known as Violent J, and Joseph Ulster, who goes by Shaggy 2 Dope — has held an annual festival called the Gathering of the Juggalos, which has been repeatedly tarnished by accusations of rape and assaults.
Needless to say, the festival has become a magnet for undercover police.
In 2014, the band filed a federal lawsuit stating that their fans were declining out of fear of being labeled gangsters.
The suit was dismissed last July by a Detroit federal judge, who stated that the Justice Department isn’t liable for how the gang activity report is used. An appeal was rapidly fired off by ICP, which began working with the American Civil Liberties Union.
“There has never been—and never will be—a music fan base quite like Juggalos, and while it is easy to fear what one does not understand, discrimination and bigotry against any group of people is just plain wrong and un-American,” ICP’s joint statement with the ACLU read.
On Thursday, Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope stood before an appeals court in Cincinnati, Ohio, and argued that the FBI’s labeling has brought trouble for the band’s fans.
“The Juggalos are fighting for the basic American right to freely express who they are, to gather and share their appreciation of music, and to discuss issues that are important to them without fear of being unfairly targeted and harassed by police,” Michael J. Steinberg of the Michigan ACLU wrote in a statement.
The appeal came not long after the lineup was announced for the next Gathering of the Juggalos event, scheduled to take place in Ohio in July.