Afroman Being Sued by Police Officers Who Raided His Home

Afroman, real name Joseph Foreman, whose house was raided by Ohio police last year, is now being sued by seven members of the Adams County Sheriff's Office, alleging, among other things, he violated their privacy. As a result of the raid, four deputies, two sergeants, and a detective accuse the singer of using the video footage of their faces in music videos and social media posts without their consent, a misdemeanor offense under Ohio Revised CodeFox19 reported. They are also suing on civil grounds, charging that Foreman's use of their faces (i.e. personas) resulted in "emotional distress, embarrassment, ridicule, loss of reputation, and humiliation." In their lawsuit, the plaintiffs claim they are entitled to all of Foreman's profits derived from their personas. Among them are the proceeds of songs, music videos, and live concert tickets, as well as the promotion of Foreman's "Afroman" brand, under which he sells t-shirts, beer, marijuana, and other items. They are also seeking an injunction to remove all videos and posts featuring their personas. Not all law enforcement officers involved in the raid are named plaintiffs. On Wednesday, Foreman posted to Instagram that he would countersue "for the damage harm done to my clients, family, career, and property."

The sheriff's office raided Foreman's Adams County home last August. Deputies searched Foreman's property based on a warrant claiming probable cause existed that drugs and drug paraphernalia would be found and that trafficking and kidnapping had occurred. "They come up here with AR-15, traumatize my kids, destroyed my property, kick in my door, rip up and destroy my camera system," Foreman said in August. In the end, however, the accusations were unfounded. According to attorney Anna Castellini, the Adams County Prosecutor's Office said the raid failed to yield any evidence of criminal activity. No charges were filed. The sheriff's office came up hundreds of dollars short in returning cash seized from Foreman's property in an unexpected turn of events unrelated to the civil suit. Ohio BCI resolved the matter last month in an independent investigation, concluding that deputies miscounted the money during the raid. Several months after the raid, Foreman released two songs that referenced the incident: "Lemon Pound Cake" and "Will You Help Me Repair My Door." He also released accompanying music videos that included footage from his home surveillance cameras and his wife's cellphone.

According to the lawsuit, the footage shows the seven plaintiffs' faces. According to the complaint obtained by Fox19, Foreman also "created dozens of videos and images of Plaintiffs' personas and posted them on Facebook, YouTube, Snapchat, TikTok, and Instagram." The complaint specifically cited seven Instagram posts; all have since been deleted. The complaint alleges that Foreman congratulated an officer involved in the raid in one of his posts: "Thank you for getting me 5.4 MILLION hits on TikTok I couldn't have done it without you obviously! Congratulations again you're famous for all the wrong reasons[...]." The plaintiffs claim that the posts have made their duties "more dangerous" because they have been ridiculed by people who have seen Foreman's posts. Additionally, they claim that anonymous members of the public have made death threats after they saw the above-described posts. The complaint claims that Foreman used the plaintiffs' personas without their consent in a "willful, wanton, malicious" way and demonstrated a "conscious or reckless disregard" of their rights.