Why was Afroman raided? Ohio cops sues rapper for using search footage in music videos
American rapper Afroman has recently been sued by Ohio cops for causing emotional distress and invasion of privacy after he used footage of them in his music videos from last year when they conducted a raid on his house.
According to court documents obtained by People Magazine, seven officers of Adams County Sheriff's department have filed a lawsuit against the 48-year-old rapper for unauthorized use of an individual's persona in surveillance footage used for his own profit.
The court papers detail that police agents searched Afroman's home in August 2022 "pursuant to a lawfully issued search warrant." The search was conducted as part of a probe into drug ownership and distribution, along with kidnapping, as per the warrant.
After the raid, Afroman faced no charges as the officers found no criminal evidence against the rapper. The lawsuit filed by the officers states that at the time of the raid, Afroman was not present at his house but his wife was.
Afroman used raid videos that showed the officers' faces and bodies
Afroman's wife recorded sections of the probe on her phone, and surveillance cams placed at their house captured segments of the search, including the identities and bodies of many of the police involved.
The rapper went on to use the footage obtained in his music videos of Lemon Pound Cake and Will You Help Me Repair My Door that were posted on the internet as well as on his social media handles like Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok.
The lawsuit stated:
“These music videos clearly portray the images, likenesses, and distinctive appearances (‘personas’), of many of the officers involved in the search, including those of all Plaintiffs.”
In a lengthy statement shared on Instagram, Anna Castellini, an attorney for the rapper, stated that they were planning on countersuing the officers for the "unlawful raid, money being stolen, and for the undeniable damage this had on my client's family, career and property."
According to the lawsuit filed by the officers, Afroman can be seen in one of the Instagram photos sporting a T-shirt that features pictures of Peter Griffin from Family Guy and police officer Shawn D. Cooley next to each other.
The seven cops allege in the papers that the rapper's actions were “willful, wanton, malicious, and done with conscious or reckless disregard,” claiming that they have faced public ridicule because of it. Additionally, they stated that they have received death threats and have been unable to carry out their responsibilities effectively.
In a statement issued on Instagram, the Palmdale rapper claims that he is a "law-abiding, taxpaying citizen" who was "violated by criminals camouflaged by law enforcement!." He further said:
"I use my property/my video footage to make up for damages and to make the public aware of criminals disguised as law enforcement."
Each cop wants $25,000 in damages for each of the four counts against them.