Check THIS out, Juggalos! A Federal judge in Flint, Mich. has ruled that the FBI failed to prove they provided ICP's attorney's ALL of the documents they requested back in 2011 when ICP filed a Freedom of Information Act request against the FBI, demanding they release all the materials and information they used to justify putting Juggalos on their Gang Designation List. The article, from mlive.com, is pasted below and you can also click on the link to see the original article.
This marks a major positive step in our lawsuit against the FBI and the U.S. Department of Justice because it casts some SERIOUS doubt on the strength of the evidence they are using against Juggalos. What could they be hiding? Our attorneys are going to find out! Check out the article below and stay tuned to this site for more breaking news on our case. STAY STRONG, JUGGALOS!
FLINT, MI -- A federal judge has ruled that the FBI failed to show it made a good faith effort to fulfill a Freedom of Information Act by attorneys for the Insane Clown Posse seeking info on why the duo's Juggalos fans have been deemed a gang.
Flint U.S. District Judge Mark A. Goldsmith issued the written ruling Tuesday, Feb. 25, following a Jan. 16 summary disposition hearing where the FBI asked the judge to dismiss a lawsuit filed by ICP in September 2012.
The lawsuit claims the band asked the FBI through an Aug. 24, 2012, Freedom of Information Act request for information regarding an investigation that led to the Juggalos being listed as a gang in the National Gang Intelligence Center's 2011 National Gang Threat Assessment Emerging Trends report.
Passages of the report refer to the Juggalos as a “loosely-organized hybrid gang” that “exhibit gang-like behavior and engage in criminal activity and violence."
FBI spokesman David Porter declined to comment on the ruling, citing ongoing litigation.
"The Judge’s opinion will likely give us additional documents and more insight into the basis for the FBI’s actions in wrongly listing the Juggalos as a gang," said attorney Howard Hertz, who represents the band.
The FBI argued in its motion to dismiss, which was filed by the U.S. Attorney's Office, that the bureau turned over all pertinent records in two separate releases.
However, attorneys from Hertz Schram, which represents the Oakland County-based duo, claimed that the FBI did not release all of the requested information and they questioned the adequacy of the bureau's search for documents.
"... (T)he FBI has not met its burden of demonstrating that its search for the requested records was sufficiently responsive to Plaintiff's FOIA request," Goldsmith wrote in his ruling.
The band's attorneys point to a March 11, 2012, FOIA request filed by the websiteMuckRock.com as proof that the FBI was not releasing all of the information sought by the FOIA request submitted by the band's attorneys.
MuckRock, which operates as a proxy service for individuals filing FOIA requests, submitted the request on behalf of a user, which the band's attorneys claim is "substantively identical" though differently worded than the band's request.
The band's attorneys argue in their response to the government's summary disposition motion that the band received and the response the MuckRock user received were different.
Goldsmith shot down the MuckRock argument, saying that the mere fact that additional documents may exist and were not disclosed did not make the FBI's record search inadequate.
However, Goldsmith ruled that the FBI's search was inadequate because the bureau did not sufficiently detail its search process and that the agency misconstrued the nature of the FOIA request.
Goldsmith ruled that the FBI's National Gang Intelligence Center failed to detail how it organized or searched its files related to request nor did it detail its process used to ensure that it would respond appropriately.
The judge also ruled that FBI only responded to a portion of the FOIA request by turning over documents that the NGIC relied upon in classifying the Juggalos as a gang and not documents regarding the bureau's investigation into the Juggalos prior to the listing. Goldsmith also ruled that the FBI failed to turn over documents that were created after the creation of the 2011 report that were covered by the FOIA request.
Goldsmith has ordered Hertz Schram and the FBI to submit briefs in March on how the case should proceed after the ruling.
Four ICP fans, along with performers Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope -- whose real names are Joseph Bruce and Joseph Ulster -- filed a second lawsuit in January against the FBI that challenges the gang listing.
"To brand an entire group based on the actions of a few, it is wrong, it is ridiculous and the constitution does not allow it," said Saura Sahu, a lawyer working with the American Civil Liberties Union.
The government has not yet filed a response to the new lawsuit.
Wednesday, January 8 is one of those days that will forever be remembered as a pivotal day in Juggalo history. On that cold, snowy Michigan morning, ICP drove to the headquarters of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Michigan in Downtown Detroit and along with a legal team of some of the best attorneys in the state, made an important announcement: ICP and four Juggalos from across the country were officially suing the FBI and U.S. Department of Justice to get Juggalos removed from the Fed’s gang roster.
The ACLU and the law firm of Miller, Canfield, Paddock and Stone (one of the largest law firms in Michigan) were officially announcing that they were joining the fight to clear the Juggalo family name and that they were filing an official lawsuit against the FBI and Justice Department in federal court.
It was an amazing experience, one that ICP will never forget. All these powerful organizations standing
up for the rights of Juggalos?! Was this really happening? Yes, it was … and the media outlets that covered the event were almost entirely on our side. The press conference resulted in a total fucking tidal wave of positive press about the plight that Juggalos are facing due to the FBI’s stale ass gang label. Even media outlets that normally diss ICP are having our backs about our lawsuit against the FBI because they realize this is about Juggalos having their Constitutional rights and civil liberties violated just for enjoying the music of a certain band—and that’s just un-American.
So it’s now officially ON, Juggalos. We’re suing the fuck out of the government and the ACLU and our legal team believes we have an excellent case. It’s time to clear our name and for the FBI to recognize that we are a FAMILY and not some stupid ass “gang.” We’ll update you on any new developments as they unfold. In the meantime, stay strong, Juggalo brothers and sisters. We’re in this fight together. And we WILL prevail.
As many of you may have heard, the federal government has indicated in official public reports that Psychopathic Records recording artists the Insane Clown Posse’s fan base, the Juggalos, is a criminal gang emerging throughout the United States. On behalf of the Juggalos, the Insane Clown Posse and Psychopathic Records have launched a lawsuit against the FBI who have violated the rights of Juggalos on the mistaken belief that they are “gang members”.
If you or someone you know have suffered any negative consequence with a governmental representative, including law enforcement, border patrol, airline security, or other local, state or federal governmental agency or employee as a result of your status as a Juggalo, we want to know about it.
If you would like to share your experience and to have your situation reviewed by our legal team – at no charge to you – please fill out our short questionnaire.
We want to show our appreciation and support for our fans and we are prepared to assist you in learning about your legal rights and to fight for you in Court, if possible. Please take the time to fill out the questionnaire so we can keep apprised of this situation and assist you in getting the legal help that you deserve as a Juggalo.