Afroman filmed the cops raiding his home and made funny music videos with the footage. Now they're suing him over their hurt feelings.

In January, Jennifer Sandlin blogged here about Afroman's music videos featuring footage of Adams County Sheriff's deputies raiding his home. In making light of the experience, "Will You Help Me Repair My Door" nonetheless exposed how pointless the absurdly militaristic raid was and reminded everyone of how unaccountable the cops are in America. One of them even admires a cake in his kitchen, thereby earning a song of his own.

Now those cops are suing him, claiming that he invaded their privacy.

Four deputies, two sergeants and a detective are claiming Foreman (a.k.a. "Afroman") took footage of their faces obtained during the raid and used it in music videos and social media posts without their consent, a misdemeanor violation under Ohio Revised Code. They're also suing on civil grounds, saying Foreman's use of their faces (i.e. personas) in the videos and social media posts resulted in their "emotional distress, embarrassment, ridicule, loss of reputation and humiliation."

Afroman, also known as Joseph Foreman, points out the smirking, abusive absurdity of it all:

"They come up here with AR-15, traumatize my kids, destroyed my property, kick in my door, rip up and destroy my camera system," he said in August.

The suspicions turned out to be unfounded. The Adams County Prosecutor's Office said the raid failed to turn up probative criminal evidence, according to attorney Anna Castellini. No charges were ever filed.

That the deputies tampered with his camera system brings home that the raid was malicious rather than investigatory–and serves as a reminder that security cameras should dump to the cloud, not just to a local DVR or NAS. Even the dumbest home invaders know to find and take them nowadays.

The names of the cops who think they have a right to privacy while turning over someone's house on a rubber-stamp warrant and stealing thousands of dollars in cash: Deputies Shawn D. Cooley, Justin Cooley, Shawn D Grooms, and Lisa Phillips, Sargeants Michael D. Estep and Randolph L. Walters, Jr., and Detective Brian Newland.

Leaving aside the blatant misconduct of these officers, the idea that police can sue people who post video of them carrying out their public duties is absurd, as is the idea that footage one owns (or is public domain) may not be put to commercial or promotional use because it shows cops carrying out their public duties.

Afroman must prevail!