The FBI has just admitted it never formally investigated Insane Clown Posse‘s fan base — known as the Juggalos – before labeling the group a gang in 2011, an admission that raises serious questions about the reliability of its bi-annual “National Gang Threat Assessment” report.
Representing the FBI, U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade wrote in her response to the lawsuit filed earlier this year by ICP, “There was no FBI investigation of the Juggalos for suspected gang activity in preparation for the 2011 [National Gang Intelligence Center] Report, and no FBI investigation otherwise underlying the decision to include the identification of the Juggalos as a gang in the 2011 NGIC Report.”
In the documents, filed in April in Michigan district court, McQuade adds, “The analyst who drafted the Juggalos section of the 2011 NGIC Report did not consider or rely on any FBI-generated investigative information or records. ”
ICP sued the FBI and the Department of Justice in January over the classification of Juggalos as a gang in the 2011 National Gang Threat Assessment, demanding the Federal agencies expunge the classification on grounds it unfairly characterized a large group of innocent people as violent criminals.
In the federal report, the Juggalos were labeled a “a loosely-organized hybrid gang” that is “rapidly expanding into many US communities.”
Juggalos are listed in the report alongside Mexican drug cartels and human traffickers.
ICP was livid over the classification, immediately criticizing the report in a news conference, saying, “We’re not a gang. We’re a family.”
Shortly after suing, the law firm representing ICP submitted a request under the Freedom of Information Act to FBI Headquarters for all records regarding the investigation behind the FBI’s classification of Juggalos as a gang.
And this is where the FBI’s embarrassing response comes in.
In addition to McQuade’s admission that there actually was no FBI investigation behind the devastating “gang” classification, which allegedly led to endless unwarranted harassment of innocent Juggalos by law enforcement across the country, the U.S. Attorney lays out the shockingly willy-nilly information gathering that went into the 2011 federal gang report.
Here’s how McQuade describes the troubling functionality of the National Gang Intelligence Center, the FBI-established agency tasked with putting the report together:
“The NGIC receives gang-related information and intelligence from state, local, and other law enforcement partners on an ongoing basis. Based on the information and intelligence it receives in this regard, the NGIC identifies law enforcement trends to include in the bi-annual [National Gang Threat Assessment] reports.”
McQuade continues, “The purpose of the bi-annual reports is simply to report trends in intelligence and information that the NGIC receives from its law enforcement partners. It is not the purpose of the reports to affirm or negate the accumulated information and intelligence [emphasis added].”
In other words, according to McQuade, the National Gang Threat Assessment report, issued bi-annually under the banner of the FBI, is not obligated to provide verification for any of its unqualified, potentially reckless blanket statements — in this case, that a large population of mostly harmless social outcasts is a dangerous, criminal gang.
More troublingly, McQuade says the claims in the report are based exclusively on allegations from a relatively small number of disparate state and local law enforcement entities. According to the report, only 4 states even recognize the Juggalos as a gang (Utah, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Arizona).
McQuade writes, “The file [of Juggalo records] contained information from state and local law enforcement officials who reported that their jurisdictions did not officially recognize Juggalos as a gang, as well as information provided by state and local law enforcement officials whose jurisdictions recognized Juggalos as a gang.”
According to McQuade, only ONE local agency provided a police report about specific criminal activities involving Juggalos.
Let us repeat. The decision to classify Juggalos nationally as a dangerous gang was based entirely on information from a small number of state and local law enforcement officials, by McQuade’s own admission: “The NGIC analyst considered and relied exclusively on [this information] in drafting the Juggalos portion of the 2011 Report.”
If that wasn’t bad enough, the 2011 report also included this flagrantly fear-mongering photo.
More like the Federal Bureau of Non-Investigation.