Since rapper A$AP Rocky was arrested following an altercation on the streets of Sweden on June 30, thousands of his fans, celebrities including Kim Kardashian and Kanye West, members of Congress and even President Donald Trump have spoken out and, in some cases, taken action.
Here’s a breakdown of what’s happened so far, starting with the most recent events:
Aug. 14: A$AP Rocky is found guilty
A Swedish court finds the Grammy nominee guilty of assault. However, he is given a suspended sentence and won’t serve more jail time because his crime is not “of such a serious nature,” according to NBC News. He’s also required to pay legal fees and the equivalent of $1,300 in damages to the victim.
He says he’s disappointed but grateful.
Aug. 11: The rapper speaks out
Rocky performs at the Real Street Festival in Anaheim, Calif., but the case against him in Sweden is obviously weighing heavy on his mind. “I’m so happy to be here right now y’all can’t even understand it,” Rocky tells the crowd. “I’m so happy to be here right now. That was a scary humbling experience but I’m here right now. God is good.” He thanks his supporters from the stage.
Aug. 4: Rocky attends Kanye’s Sunday Service
The visit is about giving thanks. “He wanted to thank Kanye and Kim in person,” a Keeping Up With the Kardashians source tells People. “His jail stay in Sweden was such a nightmare. He is very grateful to everyone that got involved and tried to get him released.”
Aug. 2: Rocky returns to Los Angeles after release from Swedish jail
The 30-year-old artist lands in a private plane at Los Angeles International Airport just before midnight on Friday.
— Mike Rogers (@MikeRogersTV) August 3, 2019
Rocky takes time to thank his global supporters in an Instagram post, writing, “...I can’t begin to describe how grateful for all of you. This has been a very difficult and humbling experience.”
Earlier that day, the judge in Rocky’s assault trial says the rapper is free to leave the country, despite prosecutors’ argument that Rocky is a flight risk, while he considers a verdict. The audience in the courtroom cheers the development, according to TMZ. The president — and Ivanka Trump — shares the news on social media:
A$AP Rocky released from prison and on his way home to the United States from Sweden. It was a Rocky Week, get home ASAP A$AP!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 2, 2019
Rocky's release comes on the same day that one of two anonymous women who witnessed the incident testifies that, while she initially told police that she saw Rocky hit the alleged victim, Mustafa Jafari, with a bottle, she didn’t actually see that happen. She says in court testimony via video that she heard a bottle being crushed, but it could have been the bottle hitting the ground. Both women are steadfast in saying they saw Rocky’s group hitting and kicking Jafari.
The judge is expected to render his verdict on Aug. 14.
A Yahoo Finance interview, filmed before Rocky’s release, features rapper Meek Mill applauding Trump’s efforts in the case.
“We’re into using power to the fullest extent and trying to change laws and make great change,” Mill says.
Aug. 1: Rocky testifies at his assault trial
In a Stockholm courtroom, Rocky says he was defending himself. He says Jafari went up to his bodyguard while the star was attempting to download an app to rent an electric scooter. Rocky recalls that he immediately suspected Jafari was under the influence of something and that the man and his friend wouldn’t stop following him.
“We pleaded and we begged and we said, ‘Look man, we don’t want to fight y’all. We don’t want any more problems. We don’t want to go to jail. We don’t want to fight y’all. Please stop following us,” Rocky says.
He adds that the men eventually attacked his security guard.
“At this point we are really scared,” Rocky continues. “I saw my security guard being cut, bleeding. We didn’t know what to expect with these strangers — I’m not from Sweden, so it was really scary.”
He says he was “in defense mode,” both out of fear — he wasn’t near his hotel and didn’t really know where he was — and because of past violent encounters, such as having been robbed at gunpoint.
Rocky explains that he has no interest in anything but justice in the case.
“I’ve heard speculation that I could demand damages and money and what not,” he says. “I don’t want any money. I can earn that money back. For me, what I want is justice. And I want my name to be cleared. And justice for all.”
Meanwhile, Rocky supporters gather outside the court to play his music and chant, “Free A$AP, free A$AP.”
July 30: Rocky’s assault trial begins
The performer pleads not guilty to assault as his trial begins in Stockholm District Court, CBS News reports. His lawyer claims Rocky, as well as two others facing charges, acted in self-defense when he fought with the alleged victim. Prosecutors say the trio beat and kicked Jafari, as well as hit him with a bottle.
The star’s mother is in Sweden for court proceedings, which are being held in a secure courtroom due to the “interest from the media and the public" in the case. No photographs or video are allowed to be taken.
Robert C. O’Brien, Trump’s special envoy for hostage affairs, is also in the courtroom. “The president asked me to come here and support these American citizens,” O’Brien tells the New York Times. “I’ll be here until they come home.”
July 25: Rocky charged with assault
Prosecutors announce that the performer has been charged with assault and will remain in custody until his trial, which will take place within the next two weeks. A trial date will be announced next week and is expected to take three days.
In a statement, prosecutor Daniel Suneson said the artist and two others are “suspected of assault causing actual bodily harm, having come to the conclusion that the events in question constitute a crime and despite claims of self-defense and provocation.”
All three are currently in custody — and the charges carry a maximum sentence of two years in prison.
On the same day, Trump makes it known that he’s unhappy about the development.
Very disappointed in Prime Minister Stefan Löfven for being unable to act. Sweden has let our African American Community down in the United States. I watched the tapes of A$AP Rocky, and he was being followed and harassed by troublemakers. Treat Americans fairly! #FreeRocky
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 25, 2019
Give A$AP Rocky his FREEDOM. We do so much for Sweden but it doesn’t seem to work the other way around. Sweden should focus on its real crime problem! #FreeRocky
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 25, 2019
July 23: Rocky fan storms Swedish Embassy to protest rapper’s detention
An A$AP Rocky fan named Rebecca Kanter, 26, is arrested by the Secret Service for threatening to “blow up” the Swedish Embassy in Washington, D.C. The previous day, Kanter visited the embassy and “threw liquid from a glass Coca Cola bottle at the doorway [...] and yelled out ‘I’m going to blow this motherf***er up,’ reported NBC 4 Washington. According to a criminal complaint, while law enforcement searched for Kanter, she was complaining on social media that her behavior didn’t qualify as “breaking news.” She reportedly wrote, “Why aren’t I getting press for A$AP?” Kanter had returned to the embassy the next day to make “statements” about the rapper. She also allegedly kicked furniture and screamed at staff. After demanding, “Call the police, I’m not leaving,” she was arrested. Kanter reportedly faces charges of “willfully injuring and damaging property of a foreign government and refusing to depart a foreign embassy.”
July 20: Trump offers to ‘personally vouch’ for Rocky
President Trump says he’s spoken to Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven about the case and has been assured that Rocky will be treated fairly. Trump says he told Löfven that the rapper is not a flight risk and “offered to personally vouch for his bail.” However, Sweden has no such bail system.
Just had a very good call with @SwedishPM Stefan Löfven who assured me that American citizen A$AP Rocky will be treated fairly. Likewise, I assured him that A$AP was not a flight risk and offered to personally vouch for his bail, or an alternative....
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 20, 2019
....Our teams will be talking further, and we agreed to speak again in the next 48 hours!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 20, 2019
July 19: Trump vows to help
Trump says over Twitter that he plans to call Löfven in the matter. “So many people would like to see this quickly resolved!” he tweets.
Just spoke to @KanyeWest about his friend A$AP Rocky’s incarceration. I will be calling the very talented Prime Minister of Sweden to see what we can do about helping A$AP Rocky. So many people would like to see this quickly resolved!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 19, 2019
July 18: Kim Kardashian says she’s working on Rocky’s release
The Keeping Up With the Kardashians star confirms a TMZ report she and husband Kanye West are lobbying the Trump administration on Rocky’s behalf. It said that Kardashian reached out to Trump’s adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner, after West suggested she do so. After all, both have worked with White House officials in the past.
Thank you @realDonaldTrump , @SecPompeo, Jared Kushner & everyone involved with the efforts to Free ASAP Rocky & his two friends. Your commitment to justice reform is so appreciated 🙏🏼🤞🏼 https://t.co/Ym1Rzo5Z6c
— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) July 18, 2019
July 17: U.S. lawmakers call for Rocky’s release
U.S. Reps. Adriano Espaillat (D-N.Y.), Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.), André Carson (D-Ind.) and Joaquin Castro (D-Tex.) say Rocky and two of his friends have faced “inhumane conditions” while in custody. Espaillat, who represents Rocky’s home district in Harlem, says a representative from the State Department will be traveling to Sweden later that week on his behalf. They also ask Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to “speak up.”
July 9: Supporters launch a petition to free Rocky
A campaign called “#JusticeForRocky” demands his release. They accuse Swedish officials of violating Rocky’s rights, by denying him things such as access to a lawyer, and allege that he’s being held in “unsanitary” and “inhumane conditions.” Thousands of people, including big stars such as Diddy, Post Malone and Justin Bieber, sign on immediately. Other musicians speak out on the issue, too.
I performed in Jamaica before & when i got off the stage I was surrounded by police with guns drawn. They were ready 2 take me to jail b/c they said I forgot to bleep a couple curses.... I could make one mistake & go to jail in a diff country where women have no rights. #FreeAsap
— MEGATRON (@NICKIMINAJ) July 10, 2019
July 3: Rocky is arrested
Three days after the altercation occurred, the 30-year-old star is booked. “One person was arrested for assault and three people were arrested for serious assault, and the artist is one of those three,” a spokeswoman for the local Prosecution Authority says.
A Swedish court subsequently orders that Rocky continue to be detained as authorities complete their investigation.
July 2: The rapper defends himself
Rocky shares video on social media of an earlier encounter with the same men he tangled with on the street. “WE DONT KNOW THESE GUYS AND WE DIDNT WANT TROUBLE,” he writes in part.
He shares a second video that shows the other party talking to his security guard, who’s repeatedly telling the alleged victim to walk away from Rocky’s group.
June 30: Rocky and other men fight on a Stockholm street
The encounter, which is captured in a video published by TMZ, appears to show Rocky, who’s on tour there, grabbing one of his opponents by the shirt and throwing him. The backstory, the website says, is that Rocky was upset the men were following him. The report cited unnamed law enforcement officials, who were “actively investigating the fight,” but did not have any suspects at the time.
Check back here for updates on the case.
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