Yesterday, embattled Harlem emcee A$AP Rocky was formally charged with assault in Sweden. The charge stems from an incident that occurred about three weeks ago when Rocky and two of his comrades were caught on tape fighting in Stockholm, Sweden. Flacko was there to perform in a music festival. Videos show Rocky throwing the alleged victim to the ground, then him and his crew beating on the man while he’s on the ground. Rocky and his two friends have been detained in a Swedish correctional facility since and there has been an outpouring of support for his release, even from president Donald Trump.
So far, we know that prosecutors can proceed to trial within the next two weeks and the trial could start as early as next week. Rocky’s defense team can ask for an extension to gather more evidence. This would probably be a move they make because the Swedish prosecutor Daniel Suneson claims to have substantial evidence against him. “It is worth noting that I have had access to a greater amount of material than that which has previously been available on the internet,” said Suneson in an online statement. “In addition to video material, the injured party’s statements have been supported by witness statements.”
Rocky is claiming self-defense in the matter. In an Instagram post, Rocky showed the alleged victim, Mustafa Jafari, and another man following him and his entourage on the street and accused the alleged victim of grabbing women’s behinds while walking. Rocky is claiming that Jafari was the instigator in the confrontation and would not leave him alone. These claims of aggression on Jafari’s part are backed up by the alleged victim’s criminal past, which includes an assault conviction. When Jafari was 16, he was convicted for “striking a man in the forehead and repeatedly punching him in the face on the streets of Stockholm.” He was sentenced to 30 hours of community service and ordered to pay his victim $500.
As stated before, Donald Trump has been very vocal about Rocky’s ordeal. After being urged by Kanye West and Kim Kardashian, the president has taken to social media to voice his support. He has also been critical of the Swedish government for not being receptive to alleged talks to free Rocky. This could be due to American misinterpretation of how Sweden handles judicial matters. For one, there is no bail system in Sweden. Another reason for miscommunication is that Sweden’s constitution forbids politicians from intervening in any individual case.
If convicted, it is expected that Rocky will be sentenced within a week of that decision. Though the maximum penalty is two years behind bars, the prosecution will probably ask for a three to five-month sentence based on similar cases. The punishment could also include a fine based on Rocky’s daily earnings if he doesn’t receive a prison sentence.