ASAP Rocky to face trial in assault case

avMatilda Wennerholm, Elin Wieslander

ASAP Rocky and his two companions will face an assault trial after their involvement in a street brawl in Stockholm at the end of June.

”I believe that what has happened is a crime, despite the objections of emergency protection and provocation,” said prosecutor Daniel Suneson.

Rapper Rakim Mayers, 30, is going to face an assault trial in Stockholm after his involvement in the street brawl at the end of June. The preliminary investigation has been completed and prosecutor Daniel Suneson has decided that the evidence is sufficient enough to take the case to court.

”In order to arrive at that decision, I have, among other things, reviewed the films that were in the investigation. 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. In addition to filmed material, the injured party’s statements have been supported by witness statements,” said prosecutor Daniel Suneson.

Incarcerated for 23 days

Asap Rocky has been detained since 2 July, together with two other people in his entourage. They have been incarcerated at the detention center Kronobergshäktet in the central parts of Stockholm. Now that a prosecution has been initiated, Mayers and his two companions must face the charges in court.

Until then, Mayers and his two partners will have to stay in detention center Kronoberg, where they have been staying since they got arrested on 2 July, two days after the fight occurred.

At this point, the date for the trial is not yet set.

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Claims self-defence

Several amateur videos that have emerged from the incident shows parts of what happened during the incident on the 30th of June. They are likely to be an important part of the evidence that the prosecutor will present during the trial.

One of the videos appears to show Rocky lifting a man off his feet and throwing him to the ground. Another film clip, that Mayers himself posted on his Instagram account, shows what led up to his actions in that video. Mayers have claimed he was acting in self-defence, reacting to the provocations of the two men who harassed and followed him and his entourage.

– There are parts of these films that I think are not beneficial for these three people, that's what I can say, says prosecutor Daniel Suneson to Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter.

ASAP Rocky himself says in interrogation that two men, the injured party and another person, first asked about the road.

– We tried to explain that we did not know since we are not from Sweden. Then he left, says ASAP Rocky in interrogation.

Then the plaintiff, according to Rocky, made contact with ”strangers and women” and came back.

– My guard then asked him to go. When the guard was pushed, he tried to push him away. He struck a fist hit that hit the guard, then hit once with his headphones, which the guard also got a mark out of when he parried. Then he also tried to strike another hit that missed.

According to ASAP Rocky, he and his friends were followed for four blocks.

– He tried to punch in my direction and towards my guard. I'm good at fighting so I can't say that everyone hit, answers ASAP Rocky, in interrogation.

”Heavily affected”

The rapper’s lawyer, Slobodan Jovivic commented on Thursday:

– His attitude is that he has been approached by men unknown to him, who have shown aggressive behaviour. They have attacked his bodyguard and for a long time, he has tried to persuade them to stop pursuing them.

Jovovic also says that ASAP Rocky admits that he threw the person into the ground, that he stepped on an arm and pushed the person. But he does not admit that he behaved in the way the prosecutor claims.

– He is heavily affected by the time in custody. He has more or less been isolated, and for anyone that is tough.

Foto: PONTUS ORRE
Detention center Kronobergshäktet in the central parts of Stockholm.

The investigation took three weeks

The investigation has taken more than three weeks to finish. Prosecutor Daniel Suneson has been looking at the videos, as well as material from seized phones and information from witnesses. During the time the investigation has been ongoing, the man that is the plaintiff in the case has been suspected of assault. One of ASAPs bodyguards filed a counter-complaint against him, and the court decided to investigate that complaint but the investigation was dropped after three days.

Support

ASAP Rocky was in Stockholm to perform at the hip hop festival SMASH. He finished the first of the two planned concerts on July 2 and was arrested afterwards together with two of his associates. The following weeks he has been detained at Kronobergshäktet.

During the past weeks, fans, celebrities and politicians have been demanding his release. On social media, thousands have shared a link to a petition called JusticeForRocky. On Thursday morning, almost 630 000 people had signed that petition.

Fellow rapper Kanye West is one of many who have been speaking to US President Donald Trump, to get him to pressure Swedish officials to release Mayers.

– I have been called by so many people asking me to help A$AP Rocky, president Donald Trump said in a press brief in the White House on July 19th.

Trump then called the Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven to discuss the matter. The call reportedly lasted for 20 minutes, and Löfven then said in a statement that “in Sweden, everyone is equal before the law and that the government cannot and will not attempt to influence the legal proceedings.”

The statement underlines that Mayers would not be getting any special treatment.

If Mayers would be convicted he has the opportunity to file an appeal to the higher court, and then they have to decide whether or not to investigate the case again. 

Prosecutor’s evidence

Movies from mobiles and surveillance cameras.

Police photographs and maps from the crime scene.

Photos from surveillance cameras showing the suspects as they leave the hotel with the bodyguard and return after the incident.

Monitoring feeds from the MAX hamburger restaurant, which shows the initial course of events.

ASAP Rocky's own movie.

SMS from the bodyguard’s cellphone showing conversations in which he states that they hit the target, that they have their own film of the event, that there are different versions of the film and that he lifted the target in the neck so that he lifted from the ground.

SMS from an assistants cell phone stating that someone hit a bottle on the plaintiff, that she was asked to film, that someone said she ”missed the good parts”, that ASAP Rocky’s movie was edited before it was posted on Instagram, and that she hopes that Mayers deleted everything from his cellphone.

Journal notes, legal certificates and photographs of the plaintiff’s injuries.

Comparison image: parts of bottle found at the crime scene, compared to the bottle that Rakim Mayers holds in his hand on an Instagram movie.

Bottleneck photographs found at the crime scene. The DNA analysis of the bottleneck. Photographs on the plaintiff's headphones.

The oral evidence consists of:

Inquire with the plaintiff, ASAP Rocky and the other two defendants.

Inquire with the one who was in company with the plaintiff, who appeared in the movies.

Interrogate two witnesses, who the prosecutor proves that bottles were used as a concealer, that the plaintiff was hit and kicked by several people, and that no emergency defense situation existed.