Police officers have sued rapper Afroman for improperly using images and footage from a botched raid on his Ohio home last year in his music videos.
Earlier this month, four deputies, two sergeants, and a detective with the Adams County Sheriff’s Office in Adams county, Ohio, brought a lawsuit against rap artist Afroman.
According to court documents, police officers conducted a search of Afroman’s residence in August “pursuant to a lawfully issued search warrant.”
Law enforcement officers were acting on a warrant that stated probable cause existed that drugs and drug paraphernalia would be found on the rapper’s property and that trafficking and kidnapping had taken place there.
Afroman — whose real name is Joseph Edgar Foreman and is best known for his song “Because I got High” — was not home during the raid but his wife was.
However, following the raid, police suspicions about the rapper turned out to be unfounded. Officers found no probative criminal evidence and no charges were ever filed against Afroman.
According to the police officers’ lawsuit, Afroman took footage of their faces obtained during the August 2022 raid and used it in music videos and photos in social media posts without their consent.
One example was Afroman wearing a shirt with an image of one of the officers beside a picture of Peter Griffin from Family Guy.
As well as Afroman’s wife filming parts of the raid on her phone, security video cameras installed at their home also caught portions of the search.
“These music videos clearly portray the images, likenesses, and distinctive appearances (‘personas’), of many of the officers involved in the search, including those of all Plaintiffs,” the complaint reads.
The cops say that this has caused them “emotional distress, embarrassment, ridicule, loss of reputation and humiliation.”
The suit names Afroman, his recording firm, and a Texas-based media distribution company as defendants.
The police officers are seeking all of Afroman’s profits from his use of their personas in visuals. That includes proceeds from the songs, music videos, and live event tickets, as well as the promotion of the rapper’s Afroman brand, under which he sells beer, marijuana, T-shirts, and other merchandise.
The officers are also seeking a court injunction to take down all music videos and photos containing their personas.
In an Instagram post shared on Wednesday, Afroman vowed to countersue “for the undeniable damage this had on my clients, family, career, and property.”
This is not the first time a musician has taken images from a botched police raid and turned it into art. In 2017, rapper J. Cole used the surveillance footage of a SWAT team raiding his house in his music video for “Neighbors.”
Image credits: Header photo sourced via Wikimedia Commons.