UPDATED July 22, 11:05 a.m.: A lawyer for the Swedish man involved in the June 30 brawl with A$AP Rocky says prosecutors have dropped the investigation into the man, according to a CNN report.
Rapper A$AP Rocky has been detained in Sweden for weeks after getting into a fight while on tour in Stockholm. Over the weekend, President Trump tried to throw the weight of his office behind the rapper’s cause, but it seems Trump’s efforts might have backfired.
Rocky, born Rakim Mayers, has been in custody without charges in Stockholm since July 3 after a street June 30 fight, as have two of his associates. Rocky says he acted in self-defense and tried to avoid the altercation.
Celebrities like Kim Kardashian and Kanye West have called for Mayers to be freed, and over the weekend, the celebrity in the White House formally joined them.
"Many, many members of the African-American community have called me, friends of mine, and said, 'Could you help?'” Trump said on Friday. “So I personally don't know A$AP Rocky, but I can tell you he has a lot of support from the African-American community in this country.”
Trump later tweeted that he’d be calling the Swedish prime minister to help work things out. According to the Swedish government, the call ended up being unproductive at best.
Toni Eriksson, press secretary for Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven, said in a statement that the conversation was “friendly and respectful” before delivering what sure sounds like a polite request for the president to back off.
Lövren “underlined that in Sweden everyone is equal before the law and that the government cannot and will not attempt to influence the legal proceedings,” read a statement given to the New York Times.
TMZ, which has followed the case closely, reported that “sources connected to the case” think the intervention from Trump and the State Department, which has lobbied on his behalf, “could actually BACKFIRE because they are trying to get in the prosecutor's business.”
Mayers will be held through at least Thursday, when there will be a court hearing to determine if he’ll be formally charged and detained further. Some of the biggest names in entertainment, like Diddy, Justin Bieber, and Nicki Minaj, have expressed their support for Mayers and their frustration with the prosecutors in Sweden. Some, like Diddy, music executive Scooter Braun and rapper Meek Mill have shared a petition calling for Mayers’ release and alleging unfair treatment. Entertainers Tyler the Creator and Schoolboy Q, have said they’ll never go back to Sweden. “We targeted all over the world shit crazy,” wrote rapper 2 Chainz.
Video of the incident posted to Instagram does show Mayers and his entourage repeatedly telling two men to leave them alone. Footage of the altercation posted by TMZ shows an intense fight, with the rapper appearing to throw a man to the ground.
It’s not just celebrities who are worried about Mayers being treated fairly in Sweden. Reps. Adriano Espaillat (D-N.Y.), Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.), André Carson (D-Ind.) and Joaquin Castro (D-Tex.) put out a statement saying they were “deeply concerned” about the continued detainment of the men who are “not only American citizens, they are young men of color.”
“We’re concerned that there is a deliberate and premeditated attempt from the prosecutor to indict these young men, who were victims themselves, not the aggressors,” Espaillat said.
Cover: File photo dated 14/07/13 of rapper ASAP Rocky, who has reportedly been arrested in Sweden on suspicion of aggravated assault. Issue date: Thursday July 4, 2019. The hip-hop star, who is due to headline the Wireless music festival in London this weekend, is alleged to have been involved in a fight in Stockholm on Sunday. See PA story SHOWBIZ Rocky. Photo credit should read: Yui Mok/PA Wire URN:43912754 (Press Association via AP Images)