What We Know:
- Rapper ASAP Rocky was found guilty of assault Wednesday by a Swedish court but will avoid further jail time. The rapper was handed a conditional sentence after the court found that the assault was not “of such a serious nature” as to warrant more time behind bars. Prosecutors asked the court to convict Mayers, 30, and sentence him to at least six months in jail.
- A Swedish judge ordered the Harlem rapper released from custody earlier this month pending the verdict of the assault trial. He was allowed to leave the country and over the weekend told fans at an Anaheim, California, concert that the arrest was “scary” and “humbling.” The case attracted widespread attention, with Kim Kardashian-West, Rod Stewart and even President Donald Trump calling on Swedish authorities to release the rapper, claiming he was treated unfairly.
- The U.S. government warned Sweden of “negative consequences” as it advocated for the rapper’s release, according to a pair of letters released by the Swedish Prosecution Authority. The country’s prime minister, Stefan Löfven, told Trump that the rapper would not receive special treatment and politicians should not interfere with judicial matters. The two-time Grammy nominee, who was in Stockholm headlining a festival, has said that he was unfairly treated because he is black.
- Mayers and the two others accused in the assault pleaded not guilty and have maintained that they were acting in self-defense after being harassed by two men, including the alleged victim.
- In closing arguments, prosecutors said that the attack involved too much violence to support Mayers’ self-defense argument. Prosecutors alleged that the musician and his companions “deliberately, together and in agreement” kicked and hit Jafari, including with a bottle. The rapper’s lawyer said in closing remarks that nothing about the confrontation was premeditated or coordinated. The lawyer also referred to footage showing Mayers standing on the alleged victim’s arm and said that wasn’t the same as kicking.
Mayers told the court earlier this month that he was sightseeing when his group was approached by two men who wouldn’t leave them alone. He said that his security guard pushed one of them away, at which point the men became more aggressive and Mayers got involved in the physical dispute.
Details will be updated at Black News Alerts.