Afroman is still facing a lawsuit after using the images of police officers raiding his house on merchandise to promote his music. On August 21, the Grammy-nominated recording artist’s Ohio home was raided by the Adams County Sheriff’s Office while he was traveling for work.
Law enforcement executed a search warrant at the artist’s residence, suspecting drug possession, trafficking and kidnapping activities. It claimed he locked women in his basement area called “the dungeon.”
“I get a phone call that the police are everywhere,” he told AllHipHop‘s Kyle Eustice in May. “Now just think about this. What if I would’ve left at six o’clock that morning when I first woke up? I would’ve been home. They would’ve did it to me, man. What was going through my mind was, I was marveling at what I believe to be the navigation of God. God didn’t deliver me from temptation, but he definitely delivered me from the Adams County Sheriff’s Department.”
Even though Afroman wasn’t present at the time, he was fully aware of the events that transpired. His home surveillance system recorded the precise moments when the police breached his gate and entered the premises with their weapons drawn. The marketing genius used the incident to his advantage.
“Lemon Pound Cake,” “Why You Disconnecting My Video Camera,” “Will You Help Me Repair My Door” and ” I’m A Have A Good Time” are just a few songs on his latest album inspired by the raid.
Afroman pulled images from the surveillance tape and placed them on t-shirts and in music videos, incorporating the raid into his musical repertoire.
The officers, Shawn D. Cooley, Justin Cooley, Michael D. Estep, Shawn Grooms, Brian Newland and Lisa Phillips—who broke down his door and front gate—filed a lawsuit in March claiming he unlawfully used their images for multiple commercial purposes.
A legal expert from ABC stated “The officers do have a reasonable right to privacy we all do but typically that something has to be exposed that is intensely personal and it would offend a reasonable person. Officers acting in their job executing their job functions is typically not going to rise to the level of a violation of privacy.”
The lawsuit goes on to say that the plaintiffs have “suffered humiliation, ridicule, mental distress, embarrassment and loss of reputation.”
Afroman also said he faced humiliation because of the incident, adding that his kids were in the next yard playing and saw the police pull up in a fleet of cars to raid the home. He watched it all in real-time on his phone, thanks to technology that allowed him to patrol the safety of his property through surveillance.
Because he was coming from Chicago, he said he felt powerless.Security video shows the officers came in with long-nosed guns and captured them crossing his green lawn and kicking in his door.
Once he got home, he asked the officers if he was under arrest or charged with any of the crimes on the warrant–he wasn’t.
He doesn’t believe the officers have a case and will fight them. The lawsuit is still pending per the deputies’ lawyers. The attorneys say they will not be fighting the case in the court of public opinion and have no further comment