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Rap artist Afroman charged by agents who raided his home


WINCHESTER, Ohio (AP) — Seven law enforcement officers have sued and charged rap artist Afroman with inappropriately using footage from a police raid on his Ohio home last year in his music videos.

Four deputies, two sergeants and a detective from the Adams County Sheriff’s Office filed a lawsuit alleging invasion of privacy earlier this month. Other law enforcement officers involved in the raid are not named as plaintiffs.

Prosecutors say the rapper, whose real name is Joseph Foreman, took images of their faces obtained during the August 2022 raid and used them in music videos and social media posts without their consent. They say this has caused them “emotional distress, embarrassment, ridicule, loss of reputation and humiliation”.

The plaintiffs demand all profits from Foreman 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 are also seeking a court order to remove all videos and posts featuring their personas.

The lawsuit names Foreman, his record company, and a Texas-based media distribution company as defendants. In an Instagram post made Wednesday, Foreman vowed to counter “for the undeniable damage this had on my clients, family, career and property.”

Law enforcement was acting on a warrant that stated that drugs and drug paraphernalia were likely found on Foreman’s property and that trafficking and kidnapping had taken place there, authorities said. However, those suspicions turned out to be unfounded and the raid did not yield any conclusive criminal evidence. No charges were ever filed.

When cash seized during the raid was returned to Foreman, hundreds of dollars were found missing. A subsequent review by the state Bureau of Criminal Investigation found 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”, both of which were featured on his album “The Good Times”. He is also known for his political activism and announced last December that he intends to run for president.

Joanna Swanson

Joanna Swanson is Europe correspondent at the Thomson Reuters Foundation based in Brussels covering politics, culture, business, climate change, society, economies and inclusive tech. With specific focus in breaking news, she has covered some of the world's most significant stories.