Swedish Prosecutors Will Not Charge Man A$AP Rocky Says Assaulted Him
The American rapper remains in custody on assault allegations.
A man rapper A$AP Rocky says harassed and assaulted his entourage on the street in Stockholm, Sweden will not be charged with any crime, Swedish prosecutors confirmed Monday.
Prosecutors will not pursue charges against the man A$AP Rocky claims incited the violence that landed the American rapper in custody in Sweden, where he is awaiting trial on possible charges of assault.
Rocky was detained in Sweden on July 2 after a video emerged from June 30 apparently showing the rapper, whose real name is Rakim Mayers, tossing another man through the air and onto the street. Rocky and members of his entourage are suspected of having continued to attack the man with a broken bottle and having kicked and beat him as he lay on the ground. Rocky denies the charges and said he acted in self-defense after fans had been following and confronting him and his entourage for several hours.
But prosecutors, after assessing video footage from the incident, concluded that the man in question himself acted in self-defense when he struck one of A$AP Rocky's bodyguards with his headphones. Rocky remains under investigation and prosecutors are expected to decide this week whether to either bring formal charges or release him.
The rapper's case has become an international incident, with U.S. President Donald Trump speaking to Sweden's Prime Minister over the weekend about the jailed rapper. Trump claimed he offered to “personally vouch” for A$AP Rocky's bail, despite the fact that the Swedish criminal justice system does not include bail. Instead, suspects can be held for an indefinite period before being charged.
The office of the Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven confirmed the leader had a “friendly and respectful” conversation with Trump, lasting around 20 minutes, in which Lofven “underlined that in Sweden everyone is equal before the law and that the government cannot and will not attempt to influence the legal proceedings."
Trump became involved with the A$AP Rocky case on the urging of celebrities including Kanye West and Kim Kardashian West. Several recording artists have come out in support of Rocky's release, including Sean “Diddy” Combs, Justin Bieber, Shawn Mendes and Nicki Minaj.
Rocky's ultimate fate may depend on Sweden's interpretation of self-defense, which differs greatly from the legal interpretation in the United States. Under Chapter 24 of the Swedish criminal code, it is lawful to intervene to prevent an “initiated or imminent criminal attack on person or property” but using excessive force, even in self-defense, can be a criminal offense. In a famous 2006 case, a Swedish man, Per-Anders Pettersson, who intervened to defend a woman being assaulted was himself sentenced to a year in prison because he struck the attacker after he had already knocked him to the ground.