Friday, August 10, 2012

FBI declares ICP and Juggalos a gang; ICP sues

Here's a story about the intersection of crime and pop music I originally posted it to unfunny_fandom on JournalFen that definitely fits this blog's point of view, "a science fiction slant and a Detroit perspective." The premise is definitely science-fictional and Insane Clown Posse hail from Detroit.

I present to you some unfunny about a fandom that does unfunny things in a funny way--Juggalos. It seems that the fans of Insane Clown Posse have become decidedly unfunny to law enforcement and the FBI has made some Foolish Ballistic Insinuations as a consequence.

Last fall, the FBI included Juggalos in their National Gang Assessment for 2011 (PDF). On pages 22 and 23, the FBI lists them under "non-traditional gangs," calling them a "loosely-organized hybrid gang." Some of the criminal activities carried out by ICP fans appear in this section, along with a photo of a Juggalo with a gun that the FBI took from the ATF (trigger warning for descriptions of violence).

At first, the inclusion of Juggalos in the FBI's list was mocked by Spencer Ackerman at Wired, who observed "[t]he FBI has recently had difficulty distinguishing ordinary American Muslims from terrorists; now it appears it has a similar problem distinguishing teenage fads from criminal conspiracies." As recently as Thursday, the Village Voice posted that people thought the FBI report was an example of "another example of a federal agency looking foolish for its cultural ineptitude." That was until the U.S. Marshal Service issued a press release listing the fugitives added to New Mexico's Most Wanted.
Mark Anthony Carslon A.K.A. Mark Carlton is wanted on two felony warrants for failing to comply with the terms of probation both on underlying armed robbery cases. Carlson is a member of the Insane Clown Posse “Juggalo” gang. The “Juggalos” were recently classified as a gang by the Albuquerque Police Department Gang unit and it is believed that Carlson is still actively committing armed robberies in the Albuquerque Metro area.
Bolding from The Village Voice, who also reproduced Carlson's wanted poster, which listed his criminal affiliation as "Insane Clown Posse 'Juggalo'." Poster over the jump.

This declaration has caused the band and its fans all kinds of grief, as outlined in Vice (NSFW--what do you expect from a magazine called "Vice"?). If nothing else, Juggalos can be sentenced as gang members instead of ordinary criminals and the band's merchandise is no longer being sold at Hot Topic and other stores, who won't touch "gang apparel."

On Friday, ICP announced that they had had enough. The Village Voice reported:
Insane Clown Posse announced at the annual Gathering of the Juggalos "seminar," a veritable State of the Juggalo Union address given to "the heartbeat of the entire Juggalo world," that they were planning to sue the FBI in response.
The article also contains the text of the band's press release.

ICP and their label Psychopathic Records also launched a website, Juggalos Fight Back soliciting their fans for information about any legal troubles they may have suffered as a result of their fandom. Qualifying applicants will receive legal assistance provided by Psychopathic Records' lawyer.

Stay tuned for the fallout to this unfunny.

Hat/tip to commenter Nebris for passing on this story. Originally posted to unfunny_fandom on JournalFen. Crossposted to ontd_political on LiveJournal and Michigan Liberal.


  1. I hadn't heard of this travesty until I spotted your comment on the Archdruid's blog. As if Juggalos could ever get organised enough to do coordinated gang activities! Shoplifting and public intoxication, yeah, but gang crime? As a group, I mean. Individual idiots like the one pictured on the "Wanted" poster are dangerous, no doubt. But I reckon he's a Juggalo because he's a thuggalo, not vice versa.

    I haven't known any those clowns in person, although my daughter in the U.S. has, and she shares my low opinion of them. Plus the ICP's music stinks, but I WOULD say that, since I favour MC5-influenced punk. If the FBI would hire people that actually have absorbed the message of non-Perry Como music, even no-talent hip-hop stuff, maybe they wouldn't come across as so clueless. And it's not just how the Feebs come across image-wise. That stupid straight-arrow thinking means they're too dull to outwit smart, vicious crims.

    1. I have the same opinion of ICP and their fans that you do. I make a joke about the band in class. They come from the most polluted part of Detroit and I don't think that's a coincidence. That said, their fans are not the brightest bulbs, but they look scarier than they are. I don't think they're particularly dangerous, even if I have reservations about their taste in music or fashion.