Afroman is being sued by several officers who were part of a search at his Ohio home, saying that he’s using their images and likeness in music videos, harming their reputations.
A search was conducted at Afroman’s home in Adams County, Ohio, on Aug. 21, 2022, under a “lawfully issued search warrant,” according to the complaint filed on March 13, CBS News reported.
Photos of the warrant obtained by WXIX said officers were looking for evidence of drug possession, drug paraphernalia, trafficking and kidnapping.
Afroman, whose real name is Joseph Edgar Foreman, was not home at the time of the search, but his wife was and she recorded part of the raid on her phone, CBS News reported. There were also security cameras at the house that recorded the investigation.
Afroman said the officers broke down his door and entered his home with rifles drawn, The Washington Post reported.
The police found no evidence of drug trafficking or kidnapping. They did seize about $5,000 that Afroman said he had earned from appearances. But when they returned the money last year, WXIX reported that the rapper claimed $400 was missing. An investigation was started by Ohio’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation to look into the alleged missing money.
It was found that they had miscounted the money when the bagged it at his home, WXIX reported when the investigation was done.
Seven members of law enforcement said that videos and images were posted across social media and used to make music videos that “clearly portray” their images and likenesses. They are now suing the rapper for unauthorized use of an individual’s persona, invasion of privacy by misappropriation and invasion of privacy by false light publicity.
They have requested a trial by jury.
The officers said the videos and images made them “subjected to ridicule” and “made it more difficult and even more dangerous” for them to do their jobs, alleging they have been targeted by death threats.
Afroman, who is known for his song “Because I Got High,” said the search was based on a “false warrant” that “put the Adams county sheriff in a position to attempt to kill me.” He also said the officers stole money from him so that act did away with their “right of privacy.”
“My video footage is my property. ... I am a law-abiding taxpaying citizens who was violated by criminals camouflaged by law-enforcement,” Afroman said in a statement on Instagram.
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