Tag Archives: juggalo police

Escondido police crack down on Juggalos – well done escondio

Zealous fans of a decades-old rap duo have been the target of a crackdown by Escondido gang detectives after a string of street robberies and assaults.

The group, whose members call themselves Juggalos, are devoted to the Insane Clown Posse and the facepaint-wearing rappers’ label, Psychopathic Records.

Many of the band’s fans have said they’re a nonviolent “family” of underdogs and social rejects, not a gang. But they admit a few young Juggalos have been causing trouble.

A handful of Juggalos in Escondido were reportedly committing strong-arm robberies and “pocket checks” —- surrounding kids in the park and ordering them to empty their pockets and turn over valuables. ( RICHY FUCKS )

In late May or early June, Juggalos allegedly beat and robbed someone and reportedly punched a woman and held her at knifepoint. (IN THE NAME OF THE LOTUS MMFWCL)

After that, detectives cracked down and frequently visited Grape Day Park —- a gathering point for the group’s members.

The intense police attention has since driven most of the active Juggalos into hiding, detectives and friends of the group said.

But the violence seemed confined to a small subset of the group in Escondido, said gang Detective Erik Witholt.

Out of about 100 people in Escondido who identified themselves as Juggalos, only about a dozen or so have been causing serious trouble. The rest of the crimes tend to be minor, involving marijuana, alcohol or curfew violations, Witholt said.

“We don’t want to keep them from exploring life,” he said. “There’s nothing wrong with being part of a group as long as it’s not based on criminal enterprise.”

Hatchet gear

Juggalos typically wear red and black. If they have a logo, it’s the “hatchet man,” a cartoonish silhouette of a man running with a hatchet.

Some have been arrested carrying actual hatchets or found wearing black-and-white face paint, Witholt said.

They sometimes flash gang-like hand signs and shout out code words and sounds to greet one another. Tattoos and other symbols tend to fit with the Insane Clown Posse’s theme, a blend of horror and carnivals.

The Insane Clown Posse evolved from a Detroit gang called Inner City Posse. At least one of the musicians was jailed in 1989 before eventually leaving the gang, according to news reports.

The group has since found commercial success despite being almost universally panned by critics. Its lyrics are often colorfully violent and peppered with profanity, although the rappers have said in interviews the calls to violence aren’t meant to be taken literally.

Frequently, racists and bigots are the villains or targets of the violence in the songs.

In April 2010, the band posted a music video on YouTube for an uncharacteristically reflective song titled “Miracles,” meant to celebrate the wonders in life everyone tends to take for granted. The face-painted duo, clad in glowing white, rap earnestly as images of galaxies, the ocean and the Golden Gate Bridge flash behind them.

The production, along with the lyrics, made the video an Internet punchline. Among the lyrics mocked most fiercely: “(Expletive) magnets, how do they work? I don’t want to talk to a scientist, ya’ll mother-(expletive) are lying and getting me pissed.”

The Insane Clown Posse’s members, Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope, have embraced the negativity, saying in interviews and in marketing campaigns they are “the most hated band in the world.”

Despite the group’s inner-city origins, being a decked-out Juggalo isn’t cheap.

At Psychopathic Records’ official online store, http://www.hatchetgear.com, a hooded sweatshirt costs $65. Silver hatchet-man necklace pendants run from $65 to $100. T-shirts sell for $20 and polo shirts go for $30.

Repeated calls to Psychopathic Records, based in Detroit’s upscale Farmington Hills suburb, were not returned.

A gang?

In Escondido, Juggalos and police have said there have been scuffles between Juggalos and established Latino gangs in the area. None of the incidents resulted in serious injuries.

Most Juggalos are white, but the group is not racially exclusive nor supremacist, authorities and members said.
Other law enforcement agencies in California and throughout the nation —- including the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department —- have labeled Juggalos a gang, according to detectives and written reports.

Escondido police officials stopped short of applying that label, saying they hope to prevent the group from getting to that point.

“If they’re going to act like a street gang, we’re going to treat them like a street gang,” said Escondido police Lt. Craig Carter.

Since the Police Department’s aggressive response, friends and associates of the group said the more violent members have been lying low.

Malcom Klein, a respected gang expert and University of Southern California professor emeritus, said police should be careful in applying the gang label and the harsher criminal charges that accompany it.

A group of kids who share an interest and get into trouble isn’t necessarily a gang.

However, “it is also not uncommon for music groups or dance groups or anything of that kind to morph into a street gang, but usually it needs some kind of rivalry (with another group or an existing street gang) for that to happen,” Klein said.

In Grape Day Park on Saturday, Sean Underwood, 18, said he used to wear Insane Clown Posse gear more often before the police began cracking down. That day, he wore a white tank top and red shorts.

The music, he said, is just music. Sure, some songs have violent lyrics, but the Insane Clown Posse isn’t the only band that has those.

Underwood and several other Juggalo members gathered there said they were disappointed with the handful who have been causing problems, especially since they’ve brought heat to the hundreds who don’t commit violent crimes.

“You’re making us look bad,” Underwood said. “You’re bringing us down with you.”

Others there said Juggalos they barely knew helped them when they were homeless or otherwise friendless. One of those was Chris Harrison, 27, a transient from Vista.

He said he’s been a fan of the Insane Clown Posse since the late 1980s and believes to be a Juggalo is to be unconditionally accepting.

“Little, fake people are running around, sporting the hatchet and doing bad things,” said Chris Harrison, 27, of Vista. “It’s not a gang, dude. It’s a family.”

One Escondido Juggalo faces prison time.

Calvin Sanford, 18, pleaded guilty on July 1 to assault likely to cause great bodily injury, a spokesman for the San Diego County district attorney’s office said. Sanford faces up to four years in prison and is scheduled to be sentenced Aug. 31.

On June 21, Zachary Miller, 20, was arrested at Grape Day Park as friends looked on. He was a suspect in an assault and robbery, but was later released for lack of evidence.

After officers put Miller in the back of a waiting patrol car, they turned their attention to a crowd of his friends.

They interviewed them, took photographs and examined their tattoos and clothing.

One of the Juggalos called himself “Blaze.” It was a nickname he borrowed from his favorite Psychopathic Records rapper.

Blaze said he’s from the East Coast and has been through a lot before he ended up living in San Diego County with a relative in the military. He has since gone homeless on the streets of Escondido.

But he was adamant that Juggalos aren’t a gang. They’re a caring, loving family who always have his back, he said.

Blaze said he considers all Juggalos and Juggalettes —- the female counterparts —- his brothers and sisters.

“We’re not a gang,” he said. “But if you (expletive) with one of my homies, I’m coming after you.”

Read more: http://www.nctimes.com/news/local/escondido/article_5e09b8b5-8cec-5d75-9238-e99f2f94c5da.html#ixzz1Ugkr0nJ7

juggalos are a gang in California.

Juggalos attack student for not following the cult of insane clown posse…

(CNN) — Her choppy blue-and-blond hair hiding the fear in her eyes, a 15-year-old voiced her dislike for a hip-hop music group and got punched in the face by a classmate. The whole thing was caught on tape and social media helped police in their investigation.

A crowd of six to 10 classmates were following the self-described emo girl and her boyfriend home from school in Newark, Ohio, on an autumn day in September. Some kids were taping it and others were egging on the assailant, who was on the school wrestling team. It all started because Alexis Xanders doesn’t like Insane Clown Posse.

One of the students who recorded the incident contacted Xanders on MySpace and sent her the video two months later. The teen says she wanted something done, so she uploaded the video to YouTube and CNN iReport last week.

While only six to 10 people witnessed the alleged assault, the video has received more than 1,000 views on CNN iReport to date.

A local newspaper reporter saw the video and alerted the local police department, says Newark Police Sgt. Scott Snow. A police report was filed on September 24, and authorities are now investigating the other kids in the video who were goading the suspect.

The 15-year-old suspect, who CNN is not naming because she is a minor, was charged as a juvenile Tuesday with individual counts of assault, menacing and unlawful restraint, Licking County Prosecutor Ken Oswalt said. He also confirmed they are looking into charging other people from the video for inciting the fight.

The same day as the bullying incident, Chicago, Illinois, honors student Derrion Albert was beaten to death. The incident was captured on video and shared online. Three teens pleaded not guilty and were set to appear at a hearing on Wednesday.

These examples of bullying are not isolated incidents. Cameras are very accessible these days and social networking has made it easy to post videos for anyone to see.

Dr. Patricia Walton Agatston, a counselor with the Cobb Prevention/Intervention Center in Marietta, Georgia, is co-author of “Cyber Bullying: Bullying in the Digital Age.” She says posting videos online allows for bullies to be more visible to authorities.

Nancy Willard, director of the Center for Safe and Responsible Internet Use, says tracking bullying arrests and charges that arise from videos posted online is no easy task. “There’s no source of that kind of data. Nobody’s in a position to track that,” she said.

When Xanders posted the video to CNN iReport, she wanted something to happen, but she didn’t expect to see a detective at her door the next day.

“Someone did see it and sent it to a detective. I didn’t think anything would actually happen with all of this because it happens all the time,” the high school freshman told CNN. The mother of the teen suspect could not be reached for comment on Wednesday.

Xanders says the suspect hasn’t liked her since fifth grade, when the harassment allegedly started. “I don’t really know why. She just never liked me,” she said.

“They would wait for me everyday after school. … I didn’t go to school the day before. They were in a big huge group, waiting and stuff. Once all of my friends were walking, we’d have five or six people, but that day it was only me and [my boyfriend], she did something.”

Officer David Bardsley and the school principal held a peer mediation session between the two girls a couple of days before the assault.

The suspect said, “They were talking crap about me,” according to Bardsley. But, after a 20-minute conversation, the girls assured him everything had been smoothed over.

Whenever the school becomes aware of bullying, it gets Bardsley involved immediately. He’s been the officer on the grounds of Newark High School for nine years. He stands behind the peer mediation process at the school, which has 1,700 to 1,800 students enrolled.

“I would say that more than 90 percent would be an accurate success rate,” he said. “Most of the kids say that when we rationalize with them, they realize that they’re being silly.”

Doug Ute, the superintendent of Newark City Schools, confirmed Wednesday that the suspect agreed not to attend the school’s homecoming celebrations.

Since charges were filed, the high school has barred her from participating on the school wrestling team. The suspect is no longer a student, as she withdrew from the school, Ute said.

“Anytime there’s bullying or harassment, it’s an unfortunate incident and we discourage that type of behavior with our students,” he said.

Xanders, who dyes her hair frequently and rocks out to alternative and scream-o music, uploaded the video to iReport and says she told her parents about it afterward. Tanya Xanders, her mother, said she didn’t mind, especially if the video might help bring attention to bullying.

In the video, Xanders did not push back or return a punch. “She’s not a fighter… that’s what she’s all about,” her father, Chad Bartlett, told CNN.

Xanders says that while she stood back from fighting, she’d tell other kids who are being bullied to fight back in another way.

“Tell somebody and do something about it,” she said. “Don’t just sit there and take it. You can use your words and not your hands.”