Sweden's assault case against New York rapper A$AP Rocky has turned the internet into a strange vortex of hip-hop fans and armchair law professors, all opining on what should be happening. Even the president has gotten involved.
A$AP Rocky, whose real name is Rakim Mayers, and his entourage were involved in a fight on June 30 with two men in Stockholm. Days later, Rocky was arrested by Swedish police for aggravated assault.
Since then, he’s been held in jail. If he's found guilty, the maximum sentence is two years.
Multiple rappers have announced they'll boycott Sweden on future tours. President Trump also tweeted at Sweden’s prime minister to demand that Rocky be allowed to come home — and even offered to pay his bail (which he can’t do, because Sweden doesn’t have a bail system).
"Those countries that have a bail system tend to favor people that have large financial resources, that have high social standing in the society and are perhaps famous and rich," said Dennis Martinson, a lecturer in criminal law at Stockholm University.
Not having bail, he said, is "a way of assuring that everyone is equal in the face of the law as well, that, sort of, you cannot buy your way to freedom."
VICE NEWS breaks down how this case could have lasting effects on the Swedish legal system and explores Trump’s strange preoccupation with Rocky’s freedom.
This segment originally aired August 1, 2019, on VICE News Tonight on HBO.