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Thread: FBI names musical group's fan base as gang

  1. #1 FBI names musical group's fan base as gang 
    Forum Senior chero's Avatar
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    I'm sure this is out there for a while now. perhaps you already know. here's a short catch up:
    Insane Clown Posse Sue FBI and Department of Justice Over Juggalos' Gang Classification | Music News | Rolling Stone
    ACLU teams up with Insane Clown Posse for lawsuit against FBI - Humboldt Beacon

    how should govt. indicate an organized crime outfit or national (or regional) criminal gang for purpose of disbanding them?

    is the FBI in the right or wrong?


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  3. #2  
    ▼▼ dn ʎɐʍ sıɥʇ ▼▼ RedPanda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chero View Post
    how should govt. indicate an organized crime outfit or national (or regional) criminal gang for purpose of disbanding them?
    I would have thought a key part of identifying an organised crime gang is determining if they organise crime.

    Quote Originally Posted by chero View Post
    is the FBI in the right or wrong?
    It depends. Does the Clown Posse organise crime?
    If so, then they are right; if not, then they are wrong.


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  4. #3  
    Bullshit Intolerant PhDemon's Avatar
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    I bought a couple of their albums when I was younger on a recommendation from a friend.

    Who'd a thought I'd be a gangsta
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    ▼▼ dn ʎɐʍ sıɥʇ ▼▼ RedPanda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhDemon View Post
    I bought a couple of their albums when I was younger on a recommendation from a friend.
    Who'd a thought I'd be a gangsta
    You do know they are the 'surprise' creationists whose stupidity started the "Fucking magnets! How do they work?!" meme, yes?
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    Bullshit Intolerant PhDemon's Avatar
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    I didn't know that, way back when, they were a new band that were getting a lot of press in the heavy metal magazines I used to buy. Gave them a try, didn't think they were anything special and haven't even thought about them for years until this thread came up.
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    ▼▼ dn ʎɐʍ sıɥʇ ▼▼ RedPanda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhDemon View Post
    I didn't know that, way back when, they were a new band that were getting a lot of press in the heavy metal magazines I used to buy. Gave them a try, didn't think they were anything special and haven't even thought about them for years until this thread came up.
    I refuse to fund creationists, so I give their music a wide berth.
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    Bullshit Intolerant PhDemon's Avatar
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    They hadn't "come out" as creationists back then. Maybe I should ask for my money back...
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  9. #8  
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    The ICP fanbase, I.E. Juggalos, are a general subject of ridicule in the states. They dress like clowns, nuff said. Juggalos seem to trend to thuggery, although organized might be an unwarranted complement. ICP themselves are professed Christians who rap about murder, go figure.
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    Forum Radioactive Isotope cosmictraveler's Avatar
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    Bruce dropped out of school in ninth grade,[6] and moved in with his friend, Rudy, in River Rouge.[7] There he formed his own gang called Inner City Posse, which would terrorize people with Army-issued tear gas and steal car radios for money.[7] One night, Joe's mother, who had just moved to Ferndale, had her house attacked by rival gang Hazel Parks.[7] Fearing for his mother's life, Joe fled to Bonnie Doone, North Carolina, a trailer park town just outside of Fort Bragg, where his brother was staying with the U.S. Army.[7] It was there that Bruce witnessed the open racism which would later emerge as the hate for bigots referenced in Insane Clown Posse's lyrics.[7]

    At seventeen, Joe returned to Ferndale. He was soon jailed.

    So he has a past history it seems but their lyrics aren't any worse that those of the rappers who glorify murder and killings.
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  11. #10  
    Forum Senior chero's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RedPanda View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by chero View Post
    how should govt. indicate an organized crime outfit or national (or regional) criminal gang for purpose of disbanding them?
    I would have thought a key part of identifying an organised crime gang is determining if they organise crime.

    Quote Originally Posted by chero View Post
    is the FBI in the right or wrong?
    It depends. Does the Clown Posse organise crime?
    If so, then they are right; if not, then they are wrong.
    I added organized crime, but the fans are listed as a gang. Gangs do not need to be "organized." regardless, a fan group has been labeled or tried to be labeled as a gain due to commonalities.
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    ▼▼ dn ʎɐʍ sıɥʇ ▼▼ RedPanda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chero View Post
    I added organized crime, but the fans are listed as a gang. Gangs do not need to be "organized." regardless, a fan group has been labeled or tried to be labeled as a gain due to commonalities.
    Having done a bit of reading of the legal definitions for "gang" and "hybrid gang", it seems that almost any group could be considered a gang; even the Boy Scouts could be considered a gang.
    When police are targeting such vaguely defined groups, then it is usually a sign of desperation.

    Well, the clown posse should have The First Amendment on their side when they sue.
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    Having done a bit of reading of the legal definitions for "gang" and "hybrid gang", it seems that almost any group could be considered a gang; even the Boy Scouts could be considered a gang.
    When police are targeting such vaguely defined groups, then it is usually a sign of desperation.
    It's one thing for a group to be defined in a way that ensures you cover all the groups the law is intended to deal with. But the second step in drafting such a law is to ensure that your definition doesn't include groups that don't belong in that definition.

    Otherwise we'd all be applying for farm subsidies for our back gardens because we occasionally sell some eggs or lettuce to the neighbours.
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  14. #13  
    Forum Professor jrmonroe's Avatar
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    The federal definition of "gang" as used by the Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security's Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), is:
    1. An association of three or more individuals;
    2. Whose members collectively identify themselves by adopting a group identity, which they use to create an atmosphere of fear or intimidation, frequently by employing one or more of the following: a common name, slogan, identifying sign, symbol, tattoo or other physical marking, style or color of clothing, hairstyle, hand sign or graffiti;
    3. Whose purpose in part is to engage in criminal activity and which uses violence or intimidation to further its criminal objectives.
    4. Whose members engage in criminal activity or acts of juvenile delinquency that if committed by an adult would be crimes with the intent to enhance or preserve the association's power, reputation or economic resources.
    5. The association may also possess some of the following characteristics:
      1. The members may employ rules for joining and operating within the association.
      2. The members may meet on a recurring basis.
      3. The association may provide physical protection of its members from others.
      4. The association may seek to exercise control over a particular geographic location or region, or it may simply defend its perceived interests against rivals.
      5. The association may have an identifiable structure.
    source
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    2. ... a group identity, which they use to create an atmosphere of fear or intimidation, ...
    3. Whose purpose in part is to engage in criminal activity .... futrther its criminal objectives.
    Methinks whoever did the designation read the legislation backwards - or at least from the bottom to the top. All that minutiae in No. 5 is just there for details about what does and doesn't count as organisation / association / membership.

    The central requirement is that the "organisation" qualifies for this designation only if its purposes or objectives are criminal. The other stuff just tells you you can't duck this just because you also have some real commercial activity or you also do some legitimate community/ charity stuff.

    If your intent in the first place is not criminal, then the members themselves can be prosecuted for offences they commit - even if they do them in concert justifying a conspiracy charge. But if the organisation has no criminal intent or purpose, it doesn't meet the definition. It might want to have a long hard look at itself if it seems to be attracting criminal members, but that's a different issue.
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    ▼▼ dn ʎɐʍ sıɥʇ ▼▼ RedPanda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrmonroe View Post
    1. Whose purpose in part is to engage in criminal activity and which uses violence or intimidation to further its criminal objectives.
    This seems to be the only thing that separates a gang from all the other groups (e.g. Boy Scouts, Army Cadets, etc.)
    I don't see how the clown posse would be guilty of that.
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  17. #16  
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    "Purpose in part" could be interpreted to mean the group admits criminal members, and thereby facilitates them. See how shelters and services for prostitutes are sometimes criminalized because they could be said to facilitate prostitution. "In part" allows the group to have a perfectly legal "other part" of purpose, even its overt, main purpose (that is important against real organized crime, that may be one facet of a larger business).

    "Intimidation" is easy to lay on, same as "terrorism" because its subjective: "Well, I feel terrified. Therefore I'm being terrorized by terrorists."
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  18. #17  
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    "Purpose in part" could be interpreted to mean the group admits criminal members and thereby facilitates them.
    I'd say that's pretty poor interpretation.

    Having criminals as members, even deliberately recruiting them, doesn't make an organisation's purposes and objectives criminal. You'd have to make some distinction for halfway house type organisations, for organisations which coordinate education and retraining for people released from jail and insist that people help those who follow them as well as all those similar drug and alcohol rehab programs for ex-prisoners. All those gang diversion programs would meet the definition if it were interpreted that way.
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  19. #18  
    Time Lord
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    It ain't how I'd interpret the law either. Was playing devil's advocate.

    This reminds me of a debate that broke around the late 1980's, where certain types of music were argued ban-worthy because they correlated with teen suicide. When it was found country music - not heavy metal - appeared the leading "cause" of suicide, the champions of that crusade crawled back under their soft rock.

    Besides explicit outreach to people with social problems (e.g. halfway houses), there's an implicit outreach to these same people, though the arts. Heavy metal is notorious for screaming about violence and suffering. What is going on there? I think it basically exists to help people grasp their own problems, in a way they can articulate and think upon. In other words, those arts connect emotions with cognitions; or, they make the subconscious, conscious. The industry is not conspiring here. It's just filling a need people have to get a handle on their inner noise.
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