A$AP Rocky Heads to Trial in Sweden  

Rapper A$AP Rocky has been charged with assault in Sweden and is set to go to trial on July 30, prosecutors said.

Swedish prosecutors announced the trial in a statement on July 25. The prosecution said the trial will likely last three days and the rapper will remain in jail until the trial date, NBC News reported. Rocky has already been in jail for three weeks. Earlier this month, the rapper was detained and accused of assault after he and his bodyguard, along with two other performers, were harassed and assaulted by two men on June 30, according to a petition circulating online for his release from prison.

Following the incident, Rocky posted two videos to Instagram of the men following him, his bodyguard, and the two other performers. In the video, Rocky can be heard telling the men they didn’t want any trouble. A second video shows one of the men who was following Rocky hitting his bodyguard in the face with headphones.

“The group of men continued to follow and harass Rocky and his colleagues, asking for money, and began grabbing Rocky and the others. This led Rocky and his colleagues to act in self-defense to avoid any further physical harm,” the petition reads. “On Tuesday, July 2, Rocky volunteered to go to police headquarters after his performance for questioning about this incident. Rocky and his colleagues were arrested on-site.”

On July 8, an appeal was filed with the Swedish Supreme Court to have the rapper released, but the petition stated that the filing was rejected and that Rocky would have to stay in prison.

“Everyone has the same rights to be treated fairly upon detainment and should be given fair and equal access to such rights.…. He has been allowed to visit with a US Embassy [Consul] and attorney, but only in the presence of Swedish officials,” the petition read. “It is extremely troubling and worrisome that the laws are not being applied equally in these circumstances.”

Daniel Suneson, the public prosecutor of Stockholm, told The New York Times that Rocky assaulted Mustafa Jafari in Stockholm, punching him, kicking him, and hitting him with a glass bottle. In a video obtained by TMZ, Rocky can be seen throwing Jafari to the ground while two people in his entourage kick and punch him. The prosecutor also says he has more evidence against the 30-year-old rapper. "I have today commenced criminal proceedings against the three individuals suspected of assault causing actual bodily harm, having come to the conclusion that the events in question constitute a crime... despite claims of self-defense and provocation,” public prosecutor Daniel Suneson said in a statement on July 25, according to The New York Times. As of July 28, over 635,000 people have signed the petition to release the rapper, whose real name is Rakim Mayers.

President Donald Trump has also involved himself in the case and, in a tweet, claimed he would“personally vouch” for the rapper’s bail, according to NBC News. After hearing the news, Trump demanded that the rapper should be released from prison and that the country should focus on other crime issues. “Give A$AP Rocky his FREEDOM. We do so much for Sweden but it doesn’t seem to work the other way around. Sweden should focus on its real crime problem!” Trump wrote on July 25 on Twitter.

In a second tweet, the president wrote that he was “very disappointed” with Sweden’s Prime Minister.

“Very disappointed in Prime Minister Stefan Löfven for being unable to act. Sweden has let our African American Community down in the United States. I watched the tapes of A$AP Rocky, and he was being followed and harassed by troublemakers. Treat Americans fairly!” Trump wrote. In a previous phone call with Trump, Prime Minister Löfven said that the rapper is not going to receive special treatment. “I will explain that the Swedish judicial system is independent," Löfven planned to tell President Trump. “In Sweden, everyone is equal before the law, and this includes visitors from other countries."

Celebrities like Kim Kardashian West, Kanye West, Jada Pinkett Smith, Michael B. Jordan, Rapper Juicy J and many others have rallied for Rocky’s release. Rappers Tyler, the Creator and Schoolboy Q have also said they would not return to Sweden because of the incident. “No more Sweden for me, ever,” Tyler, the Creator tweeted on July 8.

About the Author

Maria Perez is a breaking news writer for The North Star. She has an M.A. in Urban Reporting from the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. She has been published in the various venues, including Newsweek, Juvenile Justice Information Exchange, City Limits, and local newspapers like The Wave and The Home Reporter.