Here’s a Timeline of ASAP Rocky’s Legal Case in Sweden
A$AP Rocky is currently living out his own episode of National Geographic's Locked Up Abroad.
Last month, he was on tour in Sweden, enjoying a stroll through the Stockholm streets with his entourage. One thing led to another and a brawl broke out that was captured on camera and went viral. The Harlem rapper, born Rakim Mayers, was subsequently arrested after turning himself in for questioning. He’s spent more than four weeks in a Swedish jail fighting an assault charge that could lead to six years in prison, all while being denied bail by a local judge.
The situation has become an international headline, with heads of state (including President Trump and Sweden Prime Minister Stefan Löfven) getting involved. Trump has received side-eyes for his seemingly pandering posture.
Other rappers have taken notice, too. Rappers like ScHoolboy Q and Tyga have chosen to cancel shows and boycott the country due to what is deemed as unfair treatment of their comrade. Future was recently in Ibiza, Spain when his bodyguard was knocked unconscious by an angered fan. The Atlanta rapper reportedly did not get involved for fear of an outcome that is similar to A$AP's imprisonment.
Overall, it has been an arduous process. A petition has been started to try and free the rapper from his incarceration. An obsessed fan has been arrested for threatening to blow up the Swedish Embassy in Washington, D.C. This has definitely been one of the wildest stories of 2019. And it’s not over yet.
As the A$AP Mob leader fights for his freedom across the Atlantic, XXL chronicles Rocky's legal adventure.
On July 1, video surfaces that shows A$AP Rocky tussling in the streets of Stockholm, Sweden with a man later identified as Mustafa Jafari.
The first clip shows Rocky and co. having a conversation with Jafari and his pal outside the Max restaurant. In the video, one of the men accuses someone in the entourage of breaking his headphones and demands that they be replaced.
According to witnesses, the local men followed the rapper and threatened to call the police over the broken item. Rocky was said to be trying to quell the situation when two women approached and accused either Jafari or his partner of unwarrantedly grabbing their butts earlier in the day. From there, things reportedly escalated, and a fight ensued.
In video of the melee, Rocky can be seen throwing Jafari to the ground while other members of his team also deliver blows. Rocky and his crew left before police and paramedics showed up.
Responding to the uproar caused by the fight video going viral, Rocky gives his side of the story.
On his Instagram page, he posts footage of what happened before his posse began their attack. In the video, the alleged victim is seen following Rocky’s team on the street. He eventually hits one the rapper’s security with a pair of headphones. This, Rocky justifies, is what started a fight in which Rocky’s team was acting in self-defense.
"SO A FEW DRUG ADDICTS ARE NOT MY FANS , WE DONT KNOW THESE GUYS AND WE DIDNT WANT TROUBLE," Rocky wrote in his caption. "THEY FOLLOWED US FOR 4 BLOCKS , AND THEY WERE SLAPPING GIRLS BUTTS WHO PASSED, GIVE ME A BREAK."
Hours after Rocky hopped on Instagram to tell his side of the story, he is taken into custody following his show at the Smash Festival in Stockholm for questioning surrounding the incident. He is subsequently arrested on a charge of suspicion of assault. Four other men from Rocky’s entourage are also suspected of assault.
"They had the intention to leave the country quite soon and if they leave the country there could be a risk that we would not be able to get them convicted if they had done this crime," prosecutor Fredrik Karlsson says of the arrests.
Rocky is not given a bail and, instead of the standard 72 hours, prosecutors ask that he be held up two weeks while they investigate the incident.
Rocky’s attorney, Henrik Olsson Lilja, challenges the Swedish district court's decision to hold his client for up to two weeks. Lilja argues Rocky is not a flight risk; he is ultimately rejected. He files for an appeal of the judgment.
Rocky’s bail issue is passed up to Sweden’s Supreme Court. They also reject the appeal and rule that the rapper be kept behind bars, citing the likelihood that he will leave the country.
Swedish Police begin an investigation of Rocky’s alleged victim, Mustafa Jafari, for possible assault and molestation charges.
According to a press release from the Swedish Prosecution Authority, “The preliminary investigation continues regarding the American artist who is detained by the Stockholm District Court in Sweden on suspicion of assault in Stockholm. There is also a preliminary investigation in the case concerning the aggrieved party, who is suspected of molestation and assault.”
A rep clarifies that the molestation crime is not necessarily sexual in nature saying, “Molestation (‘ofredande’ in Swedish) is a crime according to Swedish law. It means roughly: A person who physically attacks someone or exposes someone to disruptive contacts or exposes someone to other ruthless actions.”
Police in Sweden raid the hotel room of Rocky’s manager John Ehmann. According to reports, four officers barge into his room with a search warrant and demand his cell phone in order to look over the contents for possible evidence.
Ehmann, who was not present during the fight, “was completely taken aback” by the raid, according to a source, and “had no idea what this was about.”
A Swedish judge sides with prosecutors and orders Rocky be held without bail for at least another week while the investigation continues. The next hearing on the matter is scheduled for July 25.
Swedish prosecutors issue a press release, saying they would indict Rocky and two other members of his crew on "crimes of abuse, assault and attempted assault."
The same day, the press release is curiously re-issued sans the statement about Rocky and crew.
President Trump chimes in with support for A$AP Rocky.
During a White House meeting, No. 45 addresses the topic, which is an international headline, with reports of Kanye West and Kim Kardashian getting on board the #FreeRocky train.
"A$AP Rocky is a situation in Sweden, a great country, and friends of mine and the leadership," Trump says. "And we’re going to be talking to them, we’ve already started. Many members of the African-American community have called me, friends of mine, and said can you help? I personally don’t know A$AP Rocky, but I can tell you he has tremendous support from the African-American community in this country. When I say African-American, I think I can really say from everybody in this country because we’re all one. I have been called by so many people asking me to help A$AP Rocky."
A day later, he calls Sweden Prime Minister Stefan Löfven and reports the contents of their conversation on Twitter.
"Just had a very good call with @SwedishPM Stefan Löfven who assured me that American citizen A$AP Rocky will be treated fairly," Trump posts. "Likewise, I assured him that A$AP was not a flight risk and offered to personally vouch for his bail, or an alternative… Our teams will be talking further, and we agreed to speak again in the next 48 hours!" he adds.
However, Löfven counters Trump’s assertion during a press conference on the matter.
“The Prime Minister made sure to point out that the Swedish judicial system, prosecutors and courts are completely independent,” reads a statement from spokesman Toni Eriksson. “He also pointed out that everyone is equal before the law and that the government neither can nor will try to influence the judicial process."
The statement closes, "It is possible that there will be follow-up calls but right now there is not one scheduled or planned."
The Swedish Prosecution Authority reports the man who was under investigation for his part in the fight with A$AP Rocky is cleared of charges by releasing a statement, which reads: “The preliminary investigation in that matter is now discontinued and the injured party is no longer suspected of any crime.”
Senior Public Prosecutor Daniel Suneson agrees the alleged victim was asked by Rocky's bodyguard to leave the area "repeatedly" before the fight began. However, Suneson believes once the situation turned into fisticuffs, the man had a right to defend himself.
“When he refuses to leave, the other person first pushes him away and then takes a grip around the other person's neck and lifts him away a few meters,” Suneson says. "In this situation, the person throws his headphones on the notifier, and tries to hand out battles, which may be considered as right to self-defense."
A$AP Rocky is notified he will be charged with assault for his involvement in the Sweden street fight. His trial process is set to begin on July 30, during which he will be kept behind bars.
"We think it was self-defense, but the prosecutor has chosen to go with the injured party's version," Rocky's Swedish lawyer Slobodan Jovicic says of the verdict.
Trump again chimes in on the decision on Twitter: "Very disappointed in Prime Minister Stefan Löfven for being unable to act," the president posts. "Sweden has let our African American Community down in the United States. I watched the tapes of A$AP Rocky, and he was being followed & harassed by troublemakers. Treat Americans fairly!"
More details about A$AP Rocky’s alleged victim come to light. According to information dug up on the man, Mustafa Jafari has a prior criminal history, including a conviction for possession of the pain killer Tramadol.
Prosecutors also reveal evidence that allegedly shows Jarfari’s bruises as a result of the fight in which they claim he was “deliberately, together in agreement” beaten by Rocky and the other two men with punches, kicks and also a bottle.
A$AP Rocky’s trial for assault begins in the preliminary stages at the Stockholm District Court.
Rocky, who is facing an assault charge along with two members of his team, pleads not guilty. He maintains he fought with the alleged victim only in self-defense.
The rapper also learns Jafari is seeking $15,000 in damages due to the fight.
President Trump sends White House rep Robert C. O’Brien to attend A$AP Rocky's trial proceedings.
“The president asked me to come here and support these American citizens,” Mr. O’Brien tells the press. “I’ll be here until they come home.”
New video surfaces that shows A$AP Rocky's bodyguard choking alleged victim Mustafa Jafari.
The footage was reportedly taken before the street brawl occurred that initially went viral.
A$AP Rocky's trial continues with the rapper telling his side of the story. Rocky testifies that he tried to quell the situation before it escalated.
"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,'" the Harlem rapper tells the court.
Rocky also says he believes the two men who were harassing him and his crew were under the influence of an illegal substance.
"I couldn't help but assume that these guys were affected by some kind of drug," Rocky says.
The rapper testifies that he and his team tried to call an Uber to no avail, and eventually picked up bottles that were laying around to try and keep the two men at bay. Only after Jafari struck his bodyguard, Rocky says, he and others took physical action against the two men.
Following the fight, Rocky and crew fled to their hotel. He says he didn't call the police at the scene of the brawl because he didn't know the number in Sweden.
Mustafa Jafari counters Rocky's claims that he was harassing the group and says he returned to the entourage after being told to leave because he was looking for a friend.
During Rocky's hearing, the prosecution pushes for the rapper to serve a six-month sentence if convicted for his role in the fight.
According to BBC News journalist Maddy Savage, they cite recent sentences for similar crimes, which typically fall under between six to 10 months.
At the conclusion of the trial, a judge allows Rocky to be released from police custody while he awaits the verdict.
Rocky celebrates his release on Instagram. "THANK YOU FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART TO ALL OF MY FANS, FRIENDS AND ANYONE ACROSS THE GLOBE WHO SUPPORTED ME DURING THESE LAST FEW WEEKS," Rocky captions an Instagram photo of himself. "I CANT BEGIN TO DESCRIBE HOW GRATEFUL I AM FOR ALL OF YOU THIS HAS BEEN A VERY DIFFICULT AND HUMBLING EXPERIENCE I WANT TO THANK THE COURT FOR ALLOWING ME BLADI AND THOTO TO RETURN TO OUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS THANKS AGAIN FOR ALL OF THE LOVE AND SUPPORT."
Rocky and his co-defendants return to the U.S. and await the official ruling on their case, which will be handed down on Aug. 14.