Detroit hip hop act sues feds over gang classification

For those who grew up in the 1990s, the act at the center of this need no introduction. For the rest of you…

Meet the Insane Clown Posse. This Detroit “horrorcore” hip hop duo is perhaps best known for its short stint in the WWE (yes, that WWE) and for showering its fans at shows with Faygo sodas. The pair, dubbed Shaggy 2 Dope and Violent J, have been around for 20 years. You can’t be a music act for that long without having a loyal fan following. It’s logo is a silhouette of a clown running with a cleaver.

And boy, does ICP have a massive and loyal fan following. Their fans, called Juggalos, mostly travel far and wide to see the two, particularly at the annual “Gathering of the Juggalos,” a weekend long festival of music and frivolity starring ICP and the rest of the acts on its Psychopathic Records label. They even have an infomercial (language NSFW in places):

As you can imagine, Juggalos are largely young, white males who dress up like their ICP. According to the Department of Homeland Security, the Juggalos are also a gang, a “non-traditional” one, right up there with the Latin Kings.

Represented by Birmingham-based entertainment lawyer Howard Hertz, the band has sued the federal government on behalf of its fans. Shaggy 2 Dope explained the band’s position to The Village Voice, complete with a civics lesson. [via Gawker]

“You’re trying to grow love in your country and s***,” Shaggy 2 Dope told me last month. “Then the head of your country—the FBI—just turns around and f***ing kicks you in the nuts. How are you supposed to respond to that?”

Yes, America, exactly how are you supposed to respond to that?

The VV writer went to the recent Gathering and heard first hand the Juggalos tales of woe.

Spend an hour wandering around the Gathering and you’ll hear story after story after story about cops, schools, and bureaucracies discriminating against Juggalos for wearing Insane Clown Posse gear and their label’s Hatchetman logo. There’s the guy who lost his kids to a foster home because of his tattoo. There’s the Juggalo who was discharged from the United States military for having a Psychopathic Records CD. There’s the Wisconsin kid who was forbidden from wearing Insane Clown Posse shirts to school, but didn’t have money for new clothes, so he kept getting suspended.

“I know it’s just Juggalos and to a lot of people out there, that’s the lowest life form,” acknowledges Violent J. “But they’re being fucked with heavily. And this is some extraordinary shit that’s happening to us.”

ICP has a website, JuggalosFightBack.com, at which its asking Juggalos to tell their tales of harassment so that they “can fight for you in Court.”

But seriously, the report is pretty strange, particularly in its description of a band’s “criminal” makeup.

 Most Juggalo criminal groups are not motivated to migrate based upon traditional needs of a gang.

That’s because they are 14.

And, fellas, if you don’t want you or your fans to be associated with gangs, it would help if you didn’t flash gang signs in photos on your website.

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Collette tosses Detroit’s consent agreement lawsuit

After two days of fervor over Detroit City Attorney Krystal Crittendon’s rogue lawsuit to halt the city’s consent agreement with the state, Ingham County Judge William Collette put an end to the controversy by dismissing the claim.

According to Freep.com, Miller Canfield attorney Michael Hodge told Collette that Detroit might not have been able to meet its payroll as early as Friday if the lawsuit continued.

Collette openly challenged the Detroit Law Department attorney James Noseda on why the department didn’t speak up earlier. [The Detroit News.]

“Your office had plenty of opportunity to intervene and take some action before the agreement was ever signed,” Collette said.

Noseda said Crittendon did not have an opportunity to weigh in on the consent agreement and whether it was legal.

“The law department was shut out of this entirely,” Noseda retorted. “It was done between the mayor’s office and the Miller-Canfield attorneys.”

As an attorney, if you were to raise hell by filing a last second lawsuit, claiming you had the authority to do so, wouldn’t you be the one who showed up to defend it? Yes? Then you aren’t Krystal Crittendon.

Asian carp target of lawsuit

The Detroit Free Press reports that Attorney General Mike Cox has ratcheted up the war on the potential Asian carp invasion into the Great Lakes. 

You may remember, these are voracious, up to 100-pound carp that can be expected eat our domestic species out of house and home. They are a highly acrobat ic fish that can jump into boats, endangering boaters. They are a lose-lose for the entire Great Lakes ecosystem, and those who say Cox is overreacting, just think zebra mussels only 100 times worse.