Rap artist Afroman says he was furious after police officers raided his Ohio home last August with guns drawn, finding no evidence of the kidnapping and drug trafficking they'd alleged in a search warrant. No charges were ever filed against Afroman, known for the 2000 hit "Because I Got High." But it's the officers, not the rapper, who've now filed a lawsuit. Four deputies, two sergeants, and a detective with the Adams County Sheriff’s Office claim invasion of privacy in addition to "emotional distress, embarrassment, ridicule, loss of reputation and humiliation" after Afroman shared images of the officers, who were captured by surveillance cameras and another operated by Afroman's wife, per the AP and Guardian.
Afroman, whose real name is Joseph Foreman, took to social media to express his anger over the police conduct. He also put images of the raid and of the officers on social media, on merchandise, and in music videos released online, per the Guardian and Washington Post. These actions were "willful, wanton, malicious, and done with conscious or reckless disregard," according to the lawsuit filed this month. The officers say they've been subject to ridicule and death threats, leaving them unable to perform their duties. They're demanding profits from the use of their personas—including proceeds from songs, videos, event tickets, and the Afroman brand—and that posts containing their personas be removed.
On Wednesday, Afroman vowed to countersue "for the undeniable damage" to his property and family, including two children who were home at the time of the raid, per the AP. He's previously claimed to have lost out on gigs because of the allegations contained in the warrant. Hundreds of dollars were also missing when cops returned $5,000 in cash seized during the raid, per Fox 19. A subsequent investigation found "deputies had miscounted," per the AP. "I feel I have every right to do what I'm doing,” the rapper tells the Post in an interview, adding he plans to diss each officer individually on a new album. "I think I took the most smartest, positive route." (Read more police officers stories.)