I find this hilarious, for some reason.
A singer named “Afroman” has created a music video out of the home security footage taken during a police raid at his house.
The video is called: “Will You Help Me Repair My Door?”
I love it. I want to give this man a medal.
So what’s hilarious about this? He is being sued by the officers who broke into his house with a search warrant–when he wasn’t there, but his wife was–for causing them emotional distress.
In the suit, the officers say Afroman’s music videos, social media posts and merchandise related to the raid amount to an invasion of privacy and misappropriation of their likenesses … and they say it’s causing them emotional distress, ridicule, humiliation, loss of reputation and embarrassment.
I don’t know, but I think that’s fair. They broke into his home with guns drawn using force, searched the house for drugs without finding any, took a disputed amount of money without returning all of it, and now are arguing that they have a right to privacy. The warrant was to search for narcotics and a kidnapping victim.
Neither was found. And as far as I can tell there was never a victim to be found.
Whose home was it anyway? Can I sue a police department for taking and releasing a mugshot for a crime that I get acquitted for?
No, I cannot. And that mugshot would follow me for the rest of my life, harming my reputation, even if the charges were entirely bogus. Seems fair that police entering my home should be subject to similar rules.
It’s hard to argue that police officers entering somebody’s home have an expectation of privacy. In fact, they don’t have an expectation of privacy even when they aren’t in your home. They are government officials empowered with awesome authority, but for some reason, they keep (wrongly) arguing that they can’t be photographed.
This is constitutionally wrong. This matter has been adjudicated many times, and you have a right to film the police as long as you are not obstructing their lawful duties. I would have to imagine this is doubly true when they are doing something like a home invasion and search using purely passive means. A security camera system is perfectly legal. I have a bunch of security cameras both inside my house and on the perimeter.
The sheriffs, by the way, systematically dismantled his security system during their search. Hard to come up with a reason they had to do that in order to carry out a lawful search.
The police don’t want their images being used to make money. Well, OK. I would start by going after the news stations and working my way out. They make a lot of money showing the police doing things.
For his part, Afroman says deputies raided his home in search of narcotics but came up empty … and he claims deputies ended up seizing cash during the search, $400 of which wasn’t returned. The Clermont County Sheriff’s Office investigated and found that the Adams County sheriffs had miscounted the money seized and the correct amount had been returned.
The deputies are going after Afroman for any profits he’s made using their images … and they want the judge to order him to stop using their mugs for commercial purposes.
Has Afroman done anything wrong? I don’t know and frankly, I don’t care. He certainly wasn’t dealing drugs from his house or hiding a kidnapping victim. Even if he were the facts of this lawsuit seem indisputable here: the police have no expectation of privacy when conducting their duties. They can be filmed.
They are embarrassed because they look bad. That’s all.
Well good. As much as I support the police doing vital things and respect them, that doesn’t give them carte blanche. With great power comes great responsibility, and transparency as well.
Don’t want to be embarrassed as an officer? Don’t do embarrassing things, like break doors down unnecessarily and roam around with guns in a house only occupied by a scared woman. The couple also have children, and they could have been there but thankfully weren’t.
Afroman: I am with you on this one. I hope you make a lot of money off this song. I thought it was hilarious.