Ohio-based rapper Joseph Edgar Foreman, famously known by the name Afroman, is being sued by seven police officers with the Adams County Sheriff’s Office. The officers accuse Foreman of using footage of their raid on his home in 2022 to create and promote his new songs and videos. According to a complaint, the officers claim that he used their images and likeness in a “malicious” act that tarnished their reputation and humiliated them.
The search of Foreman’s home on Aug. 21, 2022, was conducted with a “lawfully issued search warrant,” according to a complaint. The search was for evidence of marijuana and drug paraphernalia related to drug possession and trafficking, as well as kidnapping. Although he was not present at his home during the search, his wife recorded parts of it on her phone, and his house had several security cameras that recorded the search.
Following the raid, law enforcement officers accused Foreman of using those video recordings to make music and music videos about the search. They are now suing him for the unauthorized use of individual’s persona, invasion of privacy by misappropriation and invasion of privacy by false light publicity, among other things.
Foreman’s new song “Lemon Pound Cake” appears to be inspired by a clip from the raid, which features officers walking through his kitchen and one of them looking at a pound cake being kept on a cake stand on the counter. The officer quickly became known as “Officer Poundcake” on social media, and Foreman also began using the nickname on merchandise.
The officers claim that the posts led to them being “subjected to ridicule,” and it’s “made it more difficult and even more dangerous” for them to do their jobs, adding that they have since received death threats. The rapper has denied the accusations and accused the officers of stealing his money, saying that doing so took away their “right of privacy.”
The lawsuit raises legal issues around the unauthorized use of an individual’s persona and invasion of privacy, which are serious offenses. The case also highlights the potential consequences of social media use and the need to respect individuals’ rights while also exercising creativity and artistic freedom. It remains to be seen how the case will be decided and what impact it will have on the music industry and society at large.