Ohio law enforcement officers have filed a lawsuit against rapper Afroman, accusing him of invading their privacy by using images of them obtained during a failed raid on his home in August 2022.
During the raid, the officers with the Adam’s County Sheriff’s found no evidence of criminal activity, and no charges were filed.
Joseph Foreman, known by his moniker Afroman, recorded the raid using security cameras on his property. He later mocked and questioned the raid in the songs “Lemon Pound Cake” and “Will You Help Me Repair My Door,” and used raid footage from his security cameras and wife’s cellphone in the accompanying music videos, which have garnered millions of views.
The officers — including four deputies, two sergeants and a detective — are now seeking all profits made from Foreman’s use of their image, including song revenue, music videos, merchandise sales and concert tickets, and are requesting an injunction to pull all media featuring their likenesses.
The lawsuit claims that Foreman’s publishing of their faces in social media posts and videos without their consent has caused “emotional distress, embarrassment, ridicule, loss of reputation and humiliation,” and showed “willful, wanton, malicious” and “reckless disregard” for their rights.
The complaint cited seven Instagram videos, all of which have since been deleted.
Foreman defended his use of the footage, stating that the only thing he could do was “make a funny rap song about them and make some money, use the money to pay for the damages they did and move on.”
“I asked myself, as a powerless Black man in America, what can I do to the cops that kicked my door in, tried to kill me in front of my kids, stole my money and disconnected my cameras?” Foreman told NPR.
The Adams County Prosecutor’s Office said the deputies acted on a warrant, claiming probable cause for drugs on Foreman’s property, as well as possible trafficking and kidnapping.
The rapper, who plans to run for president in the 2024 election, has since promised to file a countersuit against the officers.
“I was thinking, these big bad cops … are being beat up and bullied by those little corny rap songs I made about them,” Foreman said. “I’m like, ‘Oh my god, are you letting me know that my raps are working on you?’”
The officers’ lawsuit claims that Foreman’s use of their image constituted an invasion of privacy.
In response to the raid, the sheriff’s office returned cash seized from Foreman’s home, but not all of it was returned initially. After Foreman protested, the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation determined that officers had miscounted the seized cash.