Gathering of the Thuggalos: Austin PD vs. ICP Fans



Do you think the other undercover cops are jealous of the guy who gets to hang out with these guys?
  • Do you think the other undercover cops are jealous of the guy who gets to hang out with these guys?
On Wednesday, undercover gang officers in Austin, Texas, "hit some of the known hangouts of the Juggalos. They're a relatively new group that gained the attention of the FBI last year and now has raised concerns among local police."

This delights me so much, I can't even begin to tell you — both the idea that the FBI thinks that the Insane Clown Posse, a rap duo with a 20-year long history of having a loyal, albeit odd, fanbase is secretly leading a "relatively new" street gang; and the idea of police officers painting their faces like Juggalos in order to hang out with them.

I'm from the Midwest, so, as is required, I've listened to ICP and drunk my share of Faygo. Faygo is awesome and the best I can say about ICP is that they're an acquired taste. But their followers certainly aren't a gang, and in fact the Insane Clown Posse is suing the FBI to get them to stop calling them one.

Now, the insane clowns themselves, Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope, have filed a suit for "failure to produce any documentary evidence in support of the FBI's classification of the group's fan base" after the FBI failed to comply with a Freedom of Information Act request the Posse's legal team filed.

This whole thing just tickles me so much. It's almost quaint how much the FBI misunderstands this subculture. And it's hilarious that this misunderstanding is now leading the Austin police department to grease up and infiltrate the group.

But it got me thinking — has the FBI classified any other followers of a musical act as "gang members"? Were there, for instance, any investigations into Deadheads as a street gang?

The answer appears to be "no." Even the FBI's file on the Grateful Dead itself is surprisingly slim. Coming in at 14 pages, the only unredacted illegal thing seems to be some LSD nonsense.

That's not to say that the Grateful Dead's FBI file is a complete waste of time. It does contain this delightful line: "It would appear this is a rock group of some sort."

One wonders whether the FBI will have similarly delightfully corny things in ICP's file when this is all said and done.

Meanwhile I am now praying that some Nashville cop gets charged with infiltrating our Juggalos. If you are that cop, if you've already been given that heady responsibility, please know, I'm not laughing at you, I'm laughing ... okay, I totally am laughing at you.

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