Here’s the Deal With A$AP Rocky’s Arrest, “Inhumane” Detainment in Sweden, and His Guilty Verdict

From Cosmopolitan

Even if you’re not a major A$AP Rocky fan, you may have seen the video of him getting into a huge fight while visiting Stockholm, Sweden, at the end of June. Since the incident occurred, A$AP was arrested, the video has amassed thousands of shares on social media, fellow rappers boycotted Sweden, there were a bunch of worrying reports of him being held in an “inhumane, disease-ridden” facility.

It’s all been really confusing, so here’s everything you need to know about the “F*ckin’ Problems” singer’s current legal drama, those solitary confinement rumors, and his guilty verdict.

The Fight

In early July, A$AP shared a video of what looks to be the beginning of the June 30 altercation in Sweden with two other unnamed men and wrote this caption in all caps:


In another video, A$AP said one of the guys hit his security guard with a pair of headphones and kept following them. In the same video, a young woman came up to A$AP and his friends and said the guys did slap her and her friend’s butts.

And in another video, which A$AP didn’t share on his account but was published by Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet, it seems that A$AP and his crew got physical (although you can’t really see their faces in this one) with the men who were following them. As one Twitter user put it, they “yeeted this dude 10ft.”

The Arrest

After everything went down, A$AP reportedly went to the police station voluntarily to talk about what happened. TMZ reported that he was arrested “immediately” and that the American embassy wasn’t even notified, which is totally against protocol. It seems that around the same time, A$AP himself commented on his Instagram post, saying, “IM INNOCENT” and “THEY TRYNNA ARREST ME OUT HERE NOW, SMH.”

Shortly after all that, a Swedish court ordered for him to be held for two weeks in a pretrial detention because they think he’s a flight risk. While there have been reports of A$AP being denied bail, Sweden does not have a bail system. That said, A$AP’s lawyer, Henrik Olsson Lilja, said the rapper is going to appeal the case, is not a flight risk, and would return to the country if he has to go to trial.

The “Inhumane” Facility

On July 7, TMZ reported that A$AP is being held in an “inhumane” and “disease-ridden” facility and forced to use a yoga mat as a bed. They also said he ate only one apple a day for the first five days he was detained. The outlet went on to claim that he’s located next to an inmate with mental-health problems who throws feces, which isn’t cleaned up by the staff.

The rapper’s lawyer later denied this and said he’s eating only apples because he’s not hungry. However, A$AP’s manager, John Ehmann, confirmed many of these claims from TMZ’s sources. In his own Instagram post, Ehmann added, “The conditions of the facility are horrific and include 24/7 solitary confinement, restriction of amenities for the most basic of human functions, lack of access to life-sustaining food as well as unsanitary conditions.”

View this post on Instagram

Friends - We are currently in Stockholm where Rocky is being detained for operating in self-defense following an altercation that occurred on 6/30, when Rocky, his bodyguard and two performers were harassed and physically assaulted by a group of men in the area. The conditions of the facility are horrific and include 24/7 solitary confinement, restriction of amenities for the most basic of human functions, lack of access to life sustaining food as well as unsanitary conditions. Video footage shows the assailants following Rocky, while he pleads to them that he does not want any issues. Rocky volunteered to go to police for questioning. Rocky and his colleagues were arrested on-site. On the day of his arrest, I spoke with the U.S. Embassy Consult who informed me that his request to visit Rocky was rejected by police, which violates article 36 of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, to which Sweden is a signatory. Since, he has been allowed to visit with a U.S. Embassy Consult and attorney, but only in the presence of Swedish officials. It is troubling and worrisome that the laws are not being applied equally. Sadly, it appears the prosecutor in this case is looking for his own recognition by trying to make a name for himself based on Rocky’s global fame. On Monday, we filed an appeal with the Swedish Supreme Court to have Rocky released from the inhumane conditions and the clear violation of human rights. They rejected the filing, which means Rocky will remain in prison for two weeks. The prosecutor on the case has further communicated that he is working to receive an additional two week extension for a trial to begin in mid - to end of August. For a man that has not been proven guilty to go through these conditions, while visiting a country to headline their festival, is troublesome. To keep Rocky and his colleagues in jail is punishment before due process. Please support us by joining the #JusticeForRocky movement and sign our petition. Link in bio. Thank you for hearing our story and keeping it front of mind. JE

A post shared by johnehmann (@johnehmann) on Jul 9, 2019 at 8:31am PDT

Later, Fredrik Wallin, the governor of the Kronoberg detention center where A$AP is being held, denied these “inhumane” claims. He said that the facility is clean and “recently renovated” and prisoners are given three meals a day.

In a statement to Page Six, he said, “Normally, you live in a prison cell, which consists of a desk, a bed with a mattress, and a TV,” before adding, “I have no knowledge on any current diseases in the remand prison.”

The Boycott

Once people heard about what was going on, other rappers like Tyler, the Creator; Vince Staples; Schoolboy Q; T.I.; and Post Malone took to social media to show their support for A$AP, and some even said they’re never going to Sweden again.

There’s also a petition calling for him to be “released from Swedish officials immediately.” More than 592,977 people have signed it.

What happens next?

Well, the guys who allegedly started the fight were being investigated because they were “suspected of molestation and assault,” but all charges were dropped. The Swedish Prosecution Authority claimed that after A$AP’s bodyguard “repeatedly” asked the guys to leave, the bodyguard “takes a grip around the other person’s neck and lifts him away a few meters.” (There's a surveillance video of this part, and it's so intense.) The statement continued, “In this situation, the person throws his headphones on the notifier, and tries to hand out battles, which may be considered as right to self-defense.”

A spokesperson from the U.S. Department of State warned Sweden that they should treat A$AP and other Americans with respect. The spokesperson said:

“There are certainly some facts about the arrest and detention that raise concerns. We expect all governments, including Sweden, to treat American citizens fairly and with respect. We hope to see A$AP Rocky and his colleagues back on tour and reunited with friends and family soon.”

Meanwhile, the Swedish embassy in Washington, D.C., is involved, but it’s unclear what exactly it’s doing.

Also, aspiring lawyer Kim Kardashian and Kanye West went to Donald Trump’s administration, asking them to get involved. According to TMZ, Kim and Kanye phoned Jared Kushner, who then told Trump, who then agreed that something seemed off about A$AP’s case. Although, Trump said Melania is the one who knew about the case first. He recalled, “Actually, the one who knew about A$AP Rocky was our First Lady, right? She was telling me about—‘Can you help A$AP Rocky?’” Interesting.

The State Department also apparently sent a representative to Sweden and is “actively working” to get the rapper out of jail. Melania said, “We hope to get him home soon.”

But after the White House got involved, the Swedish Prosecution Authority reportedly said it’s “not possible for the U.S. president to have any influence on the Swedish legal procedure.”

After the prosecutor Daniel Suneson said the Stockholm District Court needed more time to complete the investigation, the Swedish Prosecution Authority formally charged A$AP with assault on July 25. A$AP will remain in jail until the 3-day trial begins on Tuesday.

The Verdict

On August 14, nearly two weeks after A$AP was released from Sweden while the court was deliberating, he was found guilty of assault. But despite the prosecutors recommending a six-month prison sentence, he won't have to go back to jail. Instead, the court stated:

"The victim is awarded damages for violation of his integrity and pain and suffering, but less than he requested. The defendants shall, each based on their financial ability, repay the state for its expenses for public legal counsels."

The Fallout

According to A$AP’s lawyer, this legal battle has cost him at least $1 million so far and could “spell the end of his career.” He also had to cancel the rest of his European tour, which was supposed to run through August, and his next album could be delayed because he was scheduled for studio time while on the tour.

During his first performance since being detained, A$AP called this an "unfortunate event" and said, "That was a scary, humbling experience but I'm here right now. God is good. People who didn't even f*ck with me felt sympathetic about my situation and were praying for me. That uplifted me when my spirits were low."

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