Ohio deputies suing rapper Afroman following 2022 raid

Posted at 8:46 AM, March 24, 2023 and last updated 9:42 AM, June 12, 2023

By: Molly Schramm

ADAMS COUNTY, Ohio (WCPO) — Rapper Afroman is being sued by members of the Adams County Sheriff’s Office after they raided his home in August 2022.

In a lawsuit filed in the Adams County Court of Common Pleas, seven members of the sheriff’s office claim Afroman used surveillance video of the raid for multiple commercial purposes, destroying their image.

Afroman poses for a portrait

FILE – Afroman, whose real name is Joseph Foreman, poses for a portrait in New York, Aug. 22, 2001. On Monday, March 13, 2023, seven law enforcement officers filed suit against Afroman, accusing the rap artist of improperly using footage from a police raid on his Ohio home last year in his music videos. (AP Photo/Shawn Baldwin, File)

The August 2022 raid was part of an “ongoing investigation,” according to a previous statement from Sergeant Brian Newland. Newland is one of the seven plaintiffs in the lawsuit.

Afroman, whose real name is Joseph Foreman, claimed the raid caused extensive damage to his home, and TMZ reported at the time that Afroman wanted to get in touch with civil rights attorney Ben Crump, who led cases like the murder of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and the Flint water crisis.

The lawsuit says that Afroman used the footage from his surveillance cameras and the video his wife, who was present at the raid, for music videos, to promote his tours and brand, various social media posts and more.

Examples the lawsuit include detail an Instagram post that features a fan holding a shirt that reads “Officer Pound Cake” and depicts some of the plaintiffs alongside Peter Griffin from “Family Guy” and a picture of a lemon pound cake, which is the title of one of Afroman’s albums. The posts caption reads “These lemon poundcake shirts are going fast !!!”

The plaintiffs argue that Afroman used their likeness and depictions “without the authorization of any of the plaintiffs to do so.”

The lawsuit goes on to say that the plaintiffs have “suffered humiliation, ridicule, mental distress, embarrassment and loss of reputation.” The lawsuit claims they received death threats.

“In some instances, it has made it more difficult and even more dangerous for Plaintiffs to carry out their official duties because of comments made and attitude expressed toward them by members of the public,” the lawsuit reads.

The plaintiffs want to prevent Afroman from using their likeness and personas for future commercial use. They also want more than $25,000 in damages, which they say is the amount Afroman has profited.

They also are asking for this lawsuit to head to a jury by trial.

This story was originally published March 22 by WCPO in Cincinnati, an E.W. Scripps Company.