Law enforcement officers in Ohio have filed a lawsuit against rapper Afroman alleging that he invaded their privacy by using images of them raiding his house.
Afroman, whose real name is Joseph Foreman, had his house raided in August 2022 by officers with the Adam’s County Sheriff’s Office.
The officers were acting on a warrant asserting probable cause for narcotics being stored and kidnappings taking place on the property.
No evidence of criminal activity was found on the property and no charges were filed.
Foreman recorded the raid on a series of security cameras on his property and inside his house.
Video footage shows police ramming down his door, searching his wardrobe, opening CD cases, and at one point briefly glancing at a lemon pound cake on his counter — a moment repeatedly referenced by Foreman in subsequent songs.
He later used the footage of officers searching his home in music videos mocking the situation and questioning the raid.
“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 in an interview.
“And the only thing I could come up with 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.”
Four deputies, two sergeants and a detective with the Sheriff’s Office have filed suit against Foreman for using their image in the music videos, asserting that it constituted an invasion of privacy.
The seven law enforcement officials are seeking all profits made with their image — including song revenue, music videos, merchandise sales, and concert tickets.
They are also requesting the court to file an injunction to pull all media from Foreman featuring their likenesses.
Foreman scoffed at the lawsuit, saying that it only proved his music was upsetting the police he hoped to mock.
“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 to NPR. “I’m like, ‘Oh my god, are you letting me know that my raps are working on you?'”
Foreman has promised to file a countersuit.
Following the raid, the sheriff’s office returned cash seized from Foreman’s home.
After the rapper protested that not all the money taken was returned, the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation determined officers had miscounted the seized cash.