- US President Donald Trump said he was fighting to get the American rapper A$AP Rocky freed from Swedish jail after seeing videos showing the lead-up to the brawl that led Rocky to be charged with assault.
- Those videos were shared by Rocky and consist of clips that appear to be edited together, showing what Rocky said was men following and harassing his group.
- Rocky shared the videos after a TMZ video showed him throw a man to the ground, and the Swedish prosecutor said he had much more evidence beyond the videos that were online.
- Trump previously tried to intervene to get Rocky freed, but Sweden said its justice system meant “everyone is equal before the law.”
- Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more stories.
US President Donald Trump says he is fighting for the release of the American musician A$AP Rocky from Swedish jail after seeing selectively edited videos posted on the rapper’s Instagram account that Swedish prosecutors say do not tell the whole story.
Trump tweeted on Thursday that he had “watched the tapes of A$AP Rocky, and he was being followed and harassed by troublemakers.” The tweet came after news that Rocky, whose real name is Rakim Mayers, was charged with assault in Sweden.
The men appear to hassle him, and at one point Rocky tells them: “We don’t want to fight you all, we’re not trying to go to jail.”
Rocky said the men who were following him were “slapping girls butts who passed” and that one of them hit Rocky’s security in the face with headphones.
But the prosecutor Daniel Suneson on Thursday said he had access to more information than the videos that had been shared online. “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,” he said.
“In addition to video material, the injured party’s statements have been supported by witness statements.”
The New York Times reported that Suneson had security-camera footage and witness statements and that one of the men “had been punched, kicked, and struck with a glass bottle in an attack that lasted several minutes.”
The longer of Rocky’s videos, which is two minutes and 55 seconds long, shows numerous clips that appear to have been edited together. In some, the men who appeared to be following Rocky’s group fight with some of his entourage.
Rocky is shown talking to the men, but not fighting, and talking to the camera, saying he is being followed. Rocky’s group repeatedly tells the men to go away.
Rocky released the video footage after TMZ shared video footage that appeared to show him throwing someone to the ground. Rocky’s lawyer said he was acting in self-defence, The New York Times reported.
Suneson on Thursday said he had charged Rocky with assault causing actual bodily harm and that two other men were also charged.
Rocky has been in custody in Stockholm, the Swedish capital, since July 3, when he was arrested. The altercation took place June 30. Rocky was in Sweden to headline the Smash x Stadion hip-hop concert on July 2.
Trump has been pushing for Rocky’s release alongside numerous high-profile figures including Justin Bieber, Kanye West, and Kim Kardashian West. Trump first heard of the incident after Kardashian West told him about it, Axios reported.
On Thursday, Trump tweeted that he was “very disappointed in Prime Minister Stefan Löfven for being unable to act.
“Sweden has let our African American Community down in the United States,” he said. “I watched the tapes of A$AP Rocky, and he was being followed and harassed by troublemakers. Treat Americans fairly!”
Trump’s tweets, and the news that Rocky had been charged, came after Trump’s unsuccessful attempts to intervene in the case.
He said on Saturday that he had spoken with Lofven, Sweden’s prime minister, and “offered to personally vouch” for Rocky’s bail. The Swedish justice system, however, does not have a bail system.
And Sweden hit back, saying its justice system was not supposed to be influenced by politics.
A representative for Lofven said in a statement that the two leaders had talked and Lofven “made certain to emphasise the complete independence of the Swedish judicial system, prosecutors and courts.”
“He underlined that in Sweden everyone is equal before the law and that the government cannot and will not attempt to influence the legal proceedings,” the statement said.
Trump also tweeted on Thursday that Sweden should “Give A$AP Rocky his FREEDOM.”
“We do so much for Sweden but it doesn’t seem to work the other way around,” he said. “Sweden should focus on its real crime problem! #FreeRocky.”
Suneson, the prosecutor, told INSIDER on Thursday that the maximum punishment for Rocky’s charge was two years imprisonment and a fine. But he said Rocky would most likely receive a lesser punishment if convicted.
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