Following the arrest of rapper Rocky A$AP in Sweden on July 3 on possible assault charges, he has gained an unlikely ally in US President Donald Trump who has signalled he may help in his release.
Rocky, whose real name is Rakim Mayers, was arrested, and has remained in jail since July 3 due to a suspected assault on June 30 between Mayers, his bodyguards and two men who were following Mayers. The prosecution in Sweden will have to complete their investigation by July 25, with Mayers remaining in custody until then due to him being a flight risk.
On Saturday, Trump tweeted out his support for Mayers and said he has spoken to the Swedish prime minister, Stefan Löfven, to make sure Mayers is getting a fair treatment and that he will speak with the prime minister more in the next 48 hours. In response, Löfven has said there will be a fair trial but as far as the prime minister stepping in, he told Trump “that in Sweden everyone is equal before the law and that the government cannot and will not attempt to influence the legal proceedings.”
The reason that Trump has gotten involved with this in the first place appears to be because of Kim Kardashian West and Kanye West. The former said she contacted Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, to get Trump to intervene, and the latter spoke with Trump over the phone, based on Trump’s tweet, to get Trump to call the Swedish prime minister.
While Trump has the ability to impact criminal justice in the US, it is unclear how much of an affect he will have on criminal justice in a country like Sweden, or what kind of follow-up there will be. It is also possible Trump could have taken an interest in Mayers’ case because he wants to improve his image with the African American community after the issues surrounding his recent racist tweets.
This is not the first time that Trump has intervened in criminal justice matters at the behest of the West’s. In June of last year, Trump commuted the sentence of Alice Marie Johnson, who was in jail since 1996 on cocaine distribution and money laundering charges, after Kim Kardashian lobbied for her release.