On Thursday, American rapper A$AP Rocky was officially charged with assault by Swedish law enforcement following a street brawl.
The charge comes as the American, whose real name is Rakim Mayers, has been in Swedish law enforcement custody for several weeks following the violent incident that the rapper claims was self-defense.
Shortly following a June 30 music festival, where Mayers performed, the American and his entourage were allegedly being followed when a physical altercation broke out as the man approached them. Mayers reportedly told law enforcement of the incident himself and was subsequently placed into custody.
U.S. rapper A$AP Rocky's lawyer holds news conference on assault case https://t.co/dsBsXe9UIN
— Reuters Top News (@Reuters) July 25, 2019
The Associated Press reports:
Prosecutor Daniel Suneson said in a statement that he filed charges against the artist and two others “suspected of assault causing actual bodily harm, having come to the conclusion that the events in question constitute a crime and despite claims of self-defense and provocation.”
The rapper and the other two suspects, who were described as members of his entourage but not identified, will remain in custody until trial.
Suneson announced the charge at a presser where he added, via ABC News: “In reaching this conclusion, I have studied the videos made available to the inquiry. It is worth noting that I have had access to a greater amount of material than that which has previously been available on the internet. In addition to video material, the injured party’s statements have been supported by witness statements.”
A Swedish prosecutor has charged rapper A$AP Rocky with assault over an incident in Stockholm last month. https://t.co/ppYshV4C2F
— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) July 25, 2019
And, from the report:
The trial will take place July 30 and Aug. 1 and 2, the prosecutor’s office said. Suneson added that those who were injured in the fight will testify and that new footage of the assault will be played in court as well.
A$AP Rocky faces a maximum sentence of two years in prison if found guilty.
Many American singer-songwriters and rappers expressed support for Mayers online and President Trump even got involved by calling the Swedish prime minister.
The Associated Press adds:
On Saturday, Trump said he spoke with Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven about A$AP Rocky and “offered to personally vouch for his bail,” something that is not available under Swedish law. Urged on by the first lady and celebrities including Kanye West and Kim Kardashian West, the president had said in a Friday tweet that he would intervene to try to free Rocky.
Lofven’s press secretary, Toni Eriksson, later said that the two leaders had a “friendly and respectful” conversation in which Lofven “made certain to emphasize the complete independence of the Swedish judicial system, prosecutors and courts” and stressed that the government cannot and will not attempt to influence the legal proceedings.