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Jug Galo

Jug Galo

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Published by Eriq Gardner
@eriqgardner
@eriqgardner

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Published by: Eriq Gardner on Jul 08, 2014
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07/12/2014

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UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURTFOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF MICHIGANSOUTHERN DIVISION 
MARK PARSONS, BRANDON BRADLEY,SCOTT GANDY, ROBERT HELLIN, JOSEPHBRUCE and JOSEPH UTSLER, Plaintiffs,v.UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICEand FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION,Defendants. /Case No. 14-10071
OPINION AND ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANTS’ MOTION TO DISMISS
Plaintiffs Mark Parsons, Brandon Bradley, Scott Gandy, Robert Hellin, JosephBruce, and Joseph Utsler, all self-identified “Juggalos,” challenge Defendants UnitedStates Department of Justice’s (“DOJ”) and Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (“FBI”)use of the term “hybrid gang” in reference to Juggalos. Plaintiffs claim that the use of this term infringes on their First Amendment rights to free association and expression,and that the term further violates their Fifth Amendment due process rights and is anarbitrary and capricious state action. Defendants move to dismiss Plaintiffs’ complaint. On June 23, 2014, the court heard oral arguments on the motion For the followingreasons, Defendants’ motion to dismiss will be granted.
2:14-cv-10071-RHC-PJK Doc # 29 Filed 06/30/14 Pg 1 of 14 Pg ID 309
 
I. BACKGROUND A. General Allegations
What is a Juggalo? According to the complaint, Juggalos are “fans of themusical group Insane Clown Posse (“ICP”)[
1
] and other bands on ICP’s independentrecord label, Psychopathic Records.” (Dkt. # 1, Pg. ID 2.) Although some of ICP’smusic contains “hopeful, life-affirming themes about the wonders of life,” other songs fallinto the genre of “horrorcore hip hop” which “uses very harsh language to tell nightmare-like stories with an underlying message that horrible things happen to people whochoose evil over good.” (
Id.
) Juggalos often paint their faces to look like clowns, andwear distinctive symbols, including the “hatchetman” logo, which depicts a person withwild hair running with a butcher cleaver in his or her hand. (
Id.
) “Many Juggalosembrace ‘Juggaloism’ as a philosophy, an identity, [and] a way of life. ICP’s lyrics,through their description of a ‘Dark Carnival,’ address themes of good and evil, heavenand hell, and acceptance and tolerance of others.” (
Id.
 at Pg. ID 6.) Juggalos attemptto live by the “moral code” of the Carnival, and see themselves as social outcasts,striving for acceptance and support from one another. (
Id.
at Pg. ID 7.) “Based onthese shared values, Juggalos strongly identify with one another and often refer tothemselves as a ‘family.’” (
Id.
) According to Plaintiffs, Juggalos gather and associatewith each other in order to listen to ICP’s music, share ideas surrounding the music, and
1
ICP is a musical group founded in 1991 and based in Farmington Hills,Michigan. (Dkt. # 2, Pg. ID 5.) Its principal members are Plaintiffs Joseph Bruce andJoseph Utsler, who go by the stage names “Violent J” and “Shaggy 2 Dope,”respectively. (
Id.
 at Pg. ID 14.) 2
2:14-cv-10071-RHC-PJK Doc # 29 Filed 06/30/14 Pg 2 of 14 Pg ID 310
 
express their support for the band. (
Id.
 at Pg. ID 6.) “Organized crime is by no meanspart of the Juggalo culture.” (
Id.
 at Pg. ID 3.)
B. The 2011 National Gang Threat Assessment
Plaintiffs’ allegations stem from the National Gang Intelligence Center’s “2011National Gang Threat Assessment: Emerging Trends” (“NGTA”). National GangIntelligence Center,
 2011 National Gang Threat Assessment: Emerging Trends,
(2011),available at http://www.fbi.gov/stats-services/publications/2011-national-gang-threat-assessment (June 9, 2014) (rendering of URL containsspaces). The NGTA states that its purpose is to “examine emerging gang trends andthreats posed by criminal gangs to communities throughout the United States.”
Id.
 at 5. “It supports US Department of Justice strategic objectives 2.2 (to reduce the threat,incidence, and prevalence of violent crime) and 2.4 (to reduce the threat, trafficking,use, and related violence of illegal drugs).”
Id.
 The NGTA further states that its data isbased on federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement reporting, as well asinformation supplied by correctional institutions.
Id.
In a section entitled “Non-Traditional Gangs,” the 2011 NGTA notes that “[t]heexpansion of hybrid gangs—non-traditional gangs with multiple affiliations—is acontinued phenomenon in many jurisdictions nationwide.”
Id.
 at 22. The NGTA further observes that hybrid gangs are fluid in structure and size, present in at least 25 states,and that hybrid gang members commit a multitude of street and violent crime, includingdrug trafficking.
Id.
 The report identifies Juggalos as a hybrid gang subset, and notesthat Juggalo gangs are rapidly expanding into many communities. Arizona, California,Pennsylvania, and Utah are the only states that recognize Juggalos as a gang, but the3
2:14-cv-10071-RHC-PJK Doc # 29 Filed 06/30/14 Pg 3 of 14 Pg ID 311

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