In August 2022, the Adams County Sheriff’s Office executed a search warrant at the home of Joseph Foreman, a rapper known by the stage name “Afroman.” Mr. Foreman’s wife recorded the search, as did several security video cameras at the home. Subsequently, Mr. Foreman created a series of music videos about Plaintiffs’ search, featuring footage of the search. That footage shows Mr. Foreman’s front door being smashed in, officers combing his home with weapons drawn, and officers searching through his clothing and personal belongings.

    In March 2023, the officers shown in the music videos filed a civil lawsuit against Mr. Foreman, alleging various torts in connection with the use of their images from the security footage. Ultimately, they requested damages from Mr. Foreman, as well as an injunction to stop speaking about and using images of them.


The First Amendment protects the right of people to criticize government actors, including police officers, especially on matters of public concern.


The Complaint was filed on March 13, 2023. Mr. Foreman filed a Motion to Dismiss on April 11. And on April 19, we filed our amicus brief. The first hearing was held on April 20. On May 10, the Plaintiff officers filed an amended complaint, with additional claims of defamation. On May 18, 2023, the court granted us leave to file our amicus brief. Mr. Foreman filed an amended motion to dismiss on May 24. The Plaintiff officers responded, and Mr. Foreman replied.  On October 10, the Judge denied in part and granted in part Defendants’ amended Motion to Dismiss. The court dismissed the claims regarding the misappropriation of likeness, but the false light, invasion of privacy and defamation claims will proceed. On December 29, the Court denied Mr. Foreman’s request to amend his answer and counterclaim. 


David Carey, Amy Gilbert, Freda Levenson, and Vera Eidelman from ACLU SPT

Date filed

April 19, 2023


Adams County Common Pleas


Jerry R. McBride


In state trial court

Case number