American rapper A$AP Rocky was found guilty of assaulting a man who had been following him and his entourage for several blocks despite warnings to stop.
The Stockholm District Court in Sweden, where the assault took place, found that Rocky and two members of his entourage were not acting in self-defense and should not have felt threatened by the men, one of whom had smashed a pair of headphones against Rocky’s bodyguard while following them. The court also found that the victims were not struck with bottles, despite their claims otherwise.
“All three defendants are convicted of assault and sentenced to conditional sentences. The court finds that the defendants were not in a situation where they were entitled to self-defense and that they assaulted the victim by hitting and kicking him,” the court said in a press release. “However, it has not been proven that the defendants hit the victim in the head with a bottle or assaulted him with whole or broken bottles. The victim was awarded damages for violation of his integrity and pain and suffering, but less than he requested. The defendants, each based on their financial ability, repay the state for its expenses for public legal counseling.”
Rocky and members of his entourage were arrested in early July after the altercation. TMZ posted video showing Rocky throwing one of the men to the ground. Video posted to Rocky’s Instagram account that same day showed two men following the rapper’s group. When Rocky’s bodyguard asked them to stop following, one of the men hit him with his headphones. The men then followed the group and demanded they pay for the smashed headphones. Later, a woman tells Rocky’s entourage that one of the men who had been following them had grabbed her. The two groups then began fighting.
The Swedish court found that Rocky and his entourage were not acting in self-defense.
“Based on statements from two witnesses, the court finds that the defendants were not subject to a current or imminent criminal attack. Therefore, they were not in a situation where they were entitled to use violence in self-defense. Nor could they have perceived themselves to be in such a situation,” the court found.
One of the men who was hit claimed the rapper and his entourage struck him with a glass bottle, but the court found this was not the case. Still, the cuts he received did help prove the case against Rocky and his entourage.
The court did not sentence the rapper or his co-defendants to jail time due to “aggravating and extenuating circumstances.” The three defendants were instead given “conditional sentences” that did not include community service. The defendants were not required to pay fines for their crimes because they had spent more than a month in prison.
President Donald Trump tried to stop the proceedings against Rocky, going so far as to call the Swedish Prime Minister. Trump also tweeted about the rapper multiple times, directing his tweets to the prime minister.