An American rapper remains detained in Sweden as authorities investigate a street fight, and the plight of ASAP Rocky has now caught the attention of the State Department, reports Politico. "There are certainly some facts about the arrest and detention that raise concerns,” says a spokesperson. "We expect all governments, including Sweden, to treat American citizens fairly and with respect (and) we hope to see ASAP Rocky and his colleagues back on tour and reunited with friends and family soon.” Here is what's going on:
- The fight: It occurred in Stockholm on June 30. ASAP Rocky had performed earlier at a music festival, and he and others in his entourage got into an altercation with two men on a city street. TMZ has video that appears to show ASAP Rocky throwing one of the men "like a ragdoll."
- Police custody: ASAP Rocky was arrested July 2 after voluntarily going to the police for questioning. He is being held in solitary confinement, per Politico. Swedish authorities have until Friday to determine whether to file charges or request permission from a court to hold him longer.
- Other videos: The rapper posted this video on Instagram, which he says shows his bodyguard urging the two men to stop following them, before the physical confrontation began. He also posted this video, in which one of the men throws a pair of headphones at the bodyguard.
- The cause? TMZ reports that the men apparently accused ASAP Rocky of breaking a pair of their headphones in a restaurant, and followed the group. ASAP Rocky and his supporters say the men instigated the fight, and they had to act in self-defense. “So a few drug addicts are not my fans, we dont know these guys and we didnt want trouble, they followed us for 4 blocks, and they were slapping girls butts who passed, give me a break," he wrote.
- Petition: A Change.org petition calling for the rapper's release had nearly 600,000 signatures as of Monday morning.
- Support: Lots of celebs, including Diddy, Nicki Minaj, and Justin Bieber, have publicly backed ASAP Rocky. On Saturday, his mother held a news conference to protest his "inhumane detention," reports WPIX. Rep. Adriano Espaillat, a New York Democrat, also joined the cause. “I will continue fighting until A$AP Rocky is released from Swedish prison and brought back.”
- Bio: ASAP Rocky (often written as A$AP Rocky) is 30, and his real name is Rakim Mayers. He is a member of the hip-hop group A$AP Mob. One of their big songs is "Feels So Good."
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