A Timeline of A$AP Rocky’s Sweden Assault Case
In recent weeks, A$AP Rocky went from a world touring rap superstar to the center of international controversy. The artist born Rakim Mayers’ detention inspired a White House intervention and pledges by some of hip-hop’s biggest names to boycott the country. He was ultimately found guilty of assault and ordered to pay damages without further jail time. Here is the full timeline of events.
Rocky launches the European leg of a tour behind his latest album Testing with the first of two concerts in Paris.
TMZ publishes a short video that appears to show Rocky and three other men throwing, punching, and kicking two men on the street. The gossip outlet’s report states that the incident took place the previous day in Stockholm, where Rocky was scheduled to perform on July 2, after two young men “kept following AR and threatened to call the cops over the headphones.”
Rocky posts two videos on his Instagram that show him and his crew repeatedly telling two young men to stop following them and one of the men swinging his headphones at the head of Rocky’s bodyguard. In one of the videos, Rocky turns to the viewer and says, “Just for the cameras, we don’t want no problems with these boys,” and young woman tells the camera that one of the young men groped her and her friend. Rocky is arrested later this night on suspicion of assault after performing at Stockholm’s SMASH festival, according to The Hollywood Reporter. He turns himself in voluntarily, TMZ reports.
Rocky misses a scheduled performance at Kadatten Festival in Oslo, Norway. TMZ reports that a U.S. Embassy official was barred from meeting with the rapper at his detention facility.
Rocky misses a scheduled performance at Open’er Festival in Poland.
A Swedish district court rules that Rocky be detained for two weeks while law enforcement investigates the altercation, declaring the rapper a flight risk. His defense attorney pledges to appeal the ruling, telling the Associated Press, “They were attacked and he made use of self-defense.” Rocky misses a scheduled performance at Longitude Festival in Dublin, Ireland. Travis Scott yells “free Rocky” during a performance at London’s Wireless Festival, where Rocky was also scheduled to perform.
Rocky’s crew member A$AP Ferg writes about the situation on Instagram: “He’s in Sweeden locked up in solitary confinement with no visit or phone call privileges. They are trying to keep him there for 2 weeks and if convicted he will be looking at 6 years just for defending himself in a fight. He was no way in form the aggressor in this ordeal.”
Rocky misses his scheduled performance at Wireless Festival in London. The group Earthgang tweets, “#FreeFlacko or we boycotting Sweden.”
The Swedish Supreme Court declines to hear Rocky’s appeal, permitting his detention for up to two weeks, AFP reports. Tyler, the Creator tweets, “no more sweden for me, ever,” and Schoolboy Q tweets, “I’m not goin nomo eitHer.”
TMZ, citing “sources,” reports that Rocky is being held in “disease ridden” and “shockingly inhumane conditions,” and that his alleged inability to meet with a U.S. Embassy official for two days may violate the Vienna Convention for Consular Relations. A U.S. State Department spokesperson tells SPIN, “We are aware of the arrest of a U.S. citizen in Stockholm … We take seriously our responsibility to assist U.S. citizens abroad and are actively monitoring the situation.” A Change.org petition demanding Rocky’s release receives over 100,000 signatures in six hours.
Rocky cancels his remaining July performances, TMZ reports.
A State Department spokesperson tells Politico in a statement that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has been briefed on Rocky’s situation, and that Robert O’Brien, the special presidential envoy for hostage affairs, is working to ensure the rapper’s fair treatment. “There are certainly some facts about the arrest and detention that raise concerns,” the statement says. “We expect all governments, including Sweden, to treat American citizens fairly and with respect.” A source adds that Rocky has been transferred to a new detention facility where conditions are “markedly better.”
President Trump directs his administration to help release Rocky from Swedish custody, TMZ reports and Axios confirms. Trump reportedly learned of the situation after Kanye West and Kim Kardashian West lobbied the president’s son-in-law and senior advisor Jared Kushner on Rocky’s behalf. A State Department official is expected to arrive in Sweden today, per TMZ.
Swedish authorities extend Rocky’s pre-trial period and detention until July 25 after prosecutors request more time to investigate. Donald Trump tells reporters that he plans to discuss the situation with the Swedish government. A few hours later, the president tweets about it.
Donald Trump speaks with Swedish prime minister Stefan Löfven about Rocky’s arrest. According to a statement from Löfven’s press secretary, the prime minister “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 later tweets about his “very good call” with Löfven, adding that the two leaders “agreed to speak again in the next 48 hours.”
The Associated Press reports that Rocky and two associates have been charged with assault. Prosecutor Daniel Suneson explains in a statement that the rapper is “suspected of assault causing actual bodily harm, having come to the conclusion that the events in question constitute a crime and despite claims of self-defense and provocation.” A date for a trial is expected to be set in the following week.
Rocky enters a not guilty plea on the first day of his trial. His defense attorney argues that the rapper’s actions were “within the limits of the law.” State Department ambassador Robert O’Brien attends the trial.
O’Brien sends a letter to Swedish prosecutors demanding the case’s swift resolution and Rocky’s release from jail. The letter threatens “potentially negative consequences.”
Sweden’s prosecutor-general Petra Lundh responds to O’Briens letter, writing in part, “No other prosecutor, not even I, may interfere with a specific case or try to affect the prosecutor responsible.” Rocky testifies that the alleged victim Mustafa Jafari started a fight with his bodyguard, that the crew repeatedly tried to “de-escalate” the situation in order to avoid confrontation, and that they believed Jafari was on drugs.
Rocky and his co-defendants are released from jail while they await a verdict, expected Aug. 14. The rapper thanks fans, friends, and the court in a celebratory Instagram post.
Rocky and his co-defendants are found guilty of assault. The trio are ordered to pay roughly $1,300 in damages to Jafari and cover his legal fees. The judge rules that the assault was not “of such a serious nature” that it would require further jail time. “I want to say thanks again to all of my fans, friends, and everyone who showed me love during this difficult time,” Rocky wrote on Instagram. “Imma keep moving forward.”
This post will be updated as the case develops.