OHIO, USA (AP) — Seven law enforcement officers have sued rap artiste Afroman, accusing him improperly using footage from a police raid on his Ohio home last year in his music videos.
Four deputies, two sergeants and a detective with the Adams County Sheriff's Office brought the suit earlier this month, claiming invasion of privacy. Other law enforcement officers who were involved in the raid are not named as plaintiffs.
The plaintiffs say the rapper, whose real name is Joseph Foreman, took footage of their faces obtained during the August 2022 raid and used it in music videos and social media posts without their consent. They say that has caused them "emotional distress, embarrassment, ridicule, loss of reputation, and humiliation".
The plaintiffs are seeking all of Foreman's profits from his use of their personas. That includes proceeds from the songs, music videos, and live event tickets, as well as the promotion of Foreman's Afroman brand, under which he sells beer, marijuana, T-shirts and other merchandise.
They also seek a court injunction to take down all videos and posts containing their personas.
The suit names Foreman, his recording firm and a Texas-based media distribution company as defendants. In an Instagram post made Wednesday, Foreman vowed to countersue "for the undeniable damage this had on my clients, family, career and property".
Law enforcement officers were acting on a warrant that stated probable cause existed that drugs and drug paraphernalia would be found on Foreman's property and that trafficking and kidnapping had taken place there, authorities have said. Those suspicions turned out to be unfounded, though, and the raid failed to turn up probative criminal evidence. No charges were ever filed.
When cash seized during the raid was returned to Foreman it appeared that hundreds of dollars were missing. A subsequent review by the state Bureau of Criminal Investigation determined that deputies had miscounted the amount seized during the raid itself.
Foreman is best known for his songs Because I Got High and Crazy Rap, which were both featured on his album The Good Times. He is also known for his political activism and announced last December that he plans to run for president.
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