ACLU: Juggalos can sue local police for mistreatment


The Insane Clown Posse and Michigan ACLU legal director Michael J. Steinberg. - PHOTO COURTESY OF THE ACLU MICHIGAN
  • Photo courtesy of the ACLU Michigan
  • The Insane Clown Posse and Michigan ACLU legal director Michael J. Steinberg.

Following Monday's news that hip-hop duo Insane Clown Posse lost an appeal challenging the FBI's designation of its fans, known as Juggalos, as a "gang," Michigan's ACLU is looking for the silver lining to the legal battle.

In an "Open letter to Juggalos" posted Tuesday, ACLU legal director Michael J. Steinberg points out that the fight accomplished many goals. On behalf of ICP, the ACLU was able to raise awareness about the issue, generating positive press. ICP even organized its own successful "Juggalo March on Washington, D.C." in September to further raise awareness for their cause. And the ACLU got the FBI to admit repeatedly in court that not all Juggalos are gang members.
Nevertheless, the court ultimately dismissed the ACLU's challenge to the FBI. However, the ACLU points out that while Juggalos can't sue the FBI, they can sue local police for singling out Juggalos for mistreatment.

The ACLU says it will "remain vigilant in protecting Juggalos from police misconduct." They urge Juggalos who have experienced police mistreatment due to their identity to contact its co-counsel from ICP's Psychopathic Records, Farris H. Haddad. His email address is Yes, that's right — the "Juggalawyer."
"The government does not have to like your taste in music and the government does not have to understand you," Steinberg says. "But it cannot punish you simply because you are part of the Juggalo family. We will stand with you as you assert your rights."

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Detroit Metro Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Detroit and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Detroit's true free press free.