Members of an Ohio sheriff’s department are suing rap singer Afroman claiming he violated their privacy when he featured security camera footage of a wrongfully executed raid on his property in music videos.
The lawsuit, reported by TMZ Wednesday, accuses Afroman, AKA Joseph Foreman, of causing seven officers “emotional distress, embarrassment, ridicule, loss of reputation and humiliation” after he produced videos and merchandise featuring images from the bungled raid.
“The lawsuit says that Afroman used the footage from his surveillance cameras and the video [from] his wife, who was present at the raid, for music videos, to promote his tours and brand, various social media posts and more,” reports WCPO.
The lawsuit states:
“In some instances, it has made it more difficult and even more dangerous for Plaintiffs to carry out their official duties because of comments made and attitude expressed toward them by members of the public.”
Footage from the raid appeared in music videos for songs titled, “Will You Help Me Repair My Door,” and “Lemon Pound Cake,” and merchandise contained images the plaintiffs argued he used “without the authorization of any of the plaintiffs to do so.”
Afroman also produced a viral TikTok video featuring footage from inside his home of an officer appearing to do a double-take when he sees a lemon pound cake sitting on a counter, a meme the lawsuit mentions he capitalized on as a merchandising opportunity.
@ogafroman Cops break into Afroman’s house for Lemon Pound Cake 😂 #fyp #foryourpage #policeoftiktok #afroman #cops #officer ♬ original sound – Afroman
The Adams County Sheriff’s Office initially claimed the August 2022 raid was in connection to an “ongoing investigation,” however Afroman told Vice no charges were filed against him and the case had since been dropped.
“The warrant was executed for an investigation into drug possession, drug trafficking, and kidnapping, according to a copy of the warrant obtained by Ohio outlet FOX19 NOW,” Vice reports.
He additionally reported police “stole” $400 dollars during the raid, which they claimed was a miscount of a seizure of potential drug money and which the department noted was subsequently returned.
The rap singer told TMZ he has the right to use the footage as it was filmed on his property.
“My house is my property, my video camera films, everything on my property as they begin, stealing my money, disconnecting plus destroying my video camera system, they became my property!”
“Criminals caught in the act, of vandalizing and stealing money,” he continued. “My video footage is my property. I used it to identify the criminals who broke into my house, and stole my money. I used it to identify criminals, who broke into my house, stole my money and disconnected my home security system.”
In January, Afroman spoke to Vice and cited his raid and the raid on Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort as examples of a weaponized judicial system.
“I think people are slowly realizing that it can happen to me, it can happen to Donald Trump, it can happen to anybody! Anybody can be the victim of a police officer who’s a bad guy. I’m not one of these ‘F the police’ chanters, not even ‘defund the police.’ But good cops need to start snitching on bad cops and something needs to be done about bad cops,” he stated.
At the time of the raid, Afroman said he would reach out to civil rights attorney Ben Crump who represented the families of George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery, and Flint, Michigan.
Plaintiffs are seeking $25,000 in damages and for Afroman to stop using their images.
Read the full lawsuit below:
Afroman Lawsuit by WCPO 9 News