Last August, police in Adams County, Ohio, conducted a search of the home of Joseph Edgar Foreman, better known as the rapper Afroman. Their search for evidence of drug possession and trafficking, as well as kidnapping, turned up nothing of value — except video footage, from Afroman's wife's phone and his security cameras. To protest the police action, the rapper has used the footage in music videos and on social media. Now, seven police officers have sued him, claiming invasion of privacy and infliction of emotional distress. The officers alleged that the rapper and others, including his record label, made unauthorized use of the officers’ images for commercial purposes, reports the Guardian.
Along with his music videos, Afroman also posted content from the raid onto his social media accounts including Facebook, Snapchat, TikTok and Instagram, the lawsuit said. The police officers allege that Afroman’s actions were “willful, wanton, malicious, and done with conscious or reckless disregard” and claim that they have been subject to ridicule by the public. They also claimed that they have been subject to death threats and have been unable to perform their duties properly. “As a result of Defendants’ actions, Plaintiffs have suffered damages, including all profits derived from and attributable to Defendants’ unauthorized use of Plaintiffs’ personas, and have suffered humiliation, ridicule, mental distress, embarrassment, and loss of reputation,” the lawsuit said. Each officer is seeking damages of $25,000 per four counts. Earlier this year, Afroman told Vice that due to the kidnapping allegation on the search warrant he lost gig opportunities, so he channeled his anger through his music. “I’m a civilian. Then, to make matters worse, I’m a Black civilian in America. The police department was not designed to serve and protect me. I felt powerless yet angry. These guys can destroy my property and I literally couldn’t do nothing about it. The only thing I could do was take to my pen and sing about the injustice. And to my surprise, it’s going over well!” he said.