A$AP Rocky Back in USA After Incident in Sweden

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A$AP Rocky Back in USA After Incident in Sweden
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A$AP Rocky Back in USA After Incident in Sweden
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American musician A$AP Rocky is back in the United States after being released from Sweden. The rapper was behind bars since July, resulting from a violent confrontation on the streets of Stockholm. Rocky says he was acting in self defense, a claim which is supported by numerous videos of the incident.

On June 30, two men confronted Rocky and his entourage as they toured Stockholm. Although the musician and his friends repeatedly pleaded with the men to stop antagonizing them, the two men continued to provoke a violent confrontation. The arrest appears to be in response to injuries sustained by Mustafa Jafari, an Afghani immigrant to Sweden and one of the two instigators of the incident.

Although Rocky’s bodyguard filed a counter-complaint against Jafari for allegedly throwing the first punch, Swedish authorities insist Jafari was acting in self defense. They claim Jafari was somehow justified in attacking the bodyguard simply because he was pushed away from the group and repeatedly asked to leave. The response by Swedish authorities has been condemned by many around the world, with some pointing to an alleged pattern of tolerance toward migrants accused of violent crimes in Sweden.

Among those critical of the Swedish response was US President Donald Trump. In a series of tweets last month, President Trump demanded Sweden release Rocky. The president went on to say that he watched videos of the incident for himself, which he described as vindicating Rocky.

“Very disappointed in Prime Minister Stefan Löfven for being unable to act,” President Trump tweeted. “Sweden has let our African American Community down in the United States. I watched the tapes of A$AP Rocky, and he was being followed and harassed by troublemakers. Treat Americans fairly!”

Swedish authorities responded to President Trump’s statements by stressing Sweden’s separation of powers between the courts and the federal government. “Sweden and Prime Minister Stefan Lofven have been very clear in the dialogue with both the White House and directly with the American president, that in Sweden everyone is equal before the law and that the government cannot interfere in legal proceedings,” a spokesperson for the Swedish government told Reuters.

Undeterred by statements from the Swedish government, the Trump administration continued applying pressure to Sweden throughout the criminal case. Earlier this week, the Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs Robert O’Brien issued a letter to Swedish prosecutors urging them to resolve the matter amicably “as soon as possible to avoid potentially negative consequences.” O’Brien was also present during the trial to observe the proceedings.

Yesterday, Rocky was finally released from Sweden by judges in the case. However, a decision on the case is not expected until August 14. Considering Rocky is not required to return to the country for the verdict, analysts are predicting an acquittal.

Rocky returned to the US earlier today, just after midnight, when his private jet landed in Los Angeles. The musician seemed quite happy to be back home, cheerfully posing for photographs and embracing his friends and family.

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