A$AP Rocky charged with assault by Swedish prosecutors

Written by on July 25, 2019

Prosecutors in Stockholm have charged rapper A$AP Rocky and two of his associates with assault in a case that drew international attention after U.S. lawmakers and celebrities demanded his release. Last week, President Trump intervened on his behalf with the Swedish prime minister.

The 30-year-old artist, whose real name is Rakim Mayers, is accused of beating a man in the street on June 30 in central Stockholm.

“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 and despite claims of self-defence and provocation,” said public prosecutor Daniel Suneson of the City Public Prosecution Office in a release early Thursday morning.

In video of the alleged assault originally posted by TMZ, the rapper and his companions appear to throw a man to the ground before they start kicking and punching him. A$AP Rocky posted another video to his Instagram account, claiming that the men had followed him for four blocks and had repeatedly been asked to leave him alone. “WE DIDNT WANT TROUBLE,” he wrote in a caption.

Suneson said video evidence played a significant role in the decision to charge Mayers.

“I have studied the videos made available to the inquiry,” Suneson said. “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$AP Rocky and the two other men, David Rispers Jr., and Bladimir Corniel, have been in custody since early July. Their extended detention without charges had drawn complaints from a Democratic group of lawmakers.

“The widely circulated video evidence clearly show that these men were accosted, harassed, and followed, all while maintaining tremendous poise,” read a July 18 statement from Reps. Adriano Espaillat (D-N.Y.), Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.), André Carson (D-Ind.) and Joaquin Castro (D-Tex.). “Even after they were initially attacked, they made verifiable efforts to remove themselves from the situation. Unfortunately, it escalated to the point where they were forced to defend themselves.”

Celebrities like Justin Bieber, Kim Kardashian and Kanye West have all asked for the rapper’s release. On Friday, Trump weighed in on Twitter.

Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump

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!

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On Saturday, the president spoke for roughly 20 minutes on the phone with Prime Minister Stefan Löfven, declaring afterward on Twitter that the Swedish leader “assured me that American citizen A$AP Rocky will be treated fairly.”

Löfven, though, was quick to note in a statement that “in Sweden everyone is equal before the law and that the government cannot and will not attempt to influence the legal proceedings.”

Suneson said that authorities initially investigated assault claims against two men, as well as a counterclaim by A$AP Rocky’s bodyguard against one of those men. The bodyguard’s complaint was closed, as was one of the assault claims.

“There were initially two injured parties in the case; however, the allegations concerning one of these were dropped due to insufficient supporting evidence. The prosecution I have now brought therefore relates to only one injured party,” he said. “A counter allegation was also made against one of the injured parties by the artist’s bodyguard. This case was investigated and closed on 22 July.”

The three men will remain in custody until trial, which has yet to be scheduled, the prosecutor’s office said.

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