COPENHAGEN, Denmark - U.S. rapper A$AP Rocky will be held for another week in pre-trial detention to allow police to finish investigating a June 30 fight in downtown Stockholm, a Swedish court said Friday. President Donald Trump, meanwhile, told reporters that he’s working to free the performer.
Stockholm's District Court decided to accept the request from prosecutor Daniel Suneson's to hold A$AP Rocky — the stage name of Rakim Mayers — until July 25. The rapper is being held for suspected assault.
Trump said he has already begun talks with Swedish authorities.
“Sweden is a great country. They are friends of mine, the leadership. And we are going to be calling, we'll be talking to them. We've already started,” the president told media in the Oval Office. “We've had a really good relationship with Sweden.”
“Many, many members of the African-American community have called me, friends of mine, and said can you help. I personally don't know A$AP Rocky but he has tremendous support from the African-American community in this country,” Trump told media.
“When I say African-American, I think I can really say from everyone in this country because we're all one. I have been called by so many people asking me to help A$AP Rocky,” he added.
First Lady Melania Trump had brought the rapper’s situation to his attention, the president said.
“Actually the one who knew about A$AP Rocky was our first lady. Right? She was telling me about...” President Trump said, while looking at the first lady. “Do you want to give a little statement on that?”
“We'll be working with the State Department and we hope to get him home soon,” the first lady then told reporters.
Rocky, the platinum-selling, Grammy-nominated artist, has seen many celebrities including Kim Kardashian West, her rapper husband, Kanye West, and Justin Bieber come to his support since his arrest.
The first lady was approached by Kardashian West and her husband, the New York Daily News reported.
Kardashian West and her husband, Kanye West, have also lobbied Trump, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the president's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, in support of A$AP Rocky.
Earlier, Suneson said police "have worked intensively" with the preliminary investigation but needed more time to complete their probe. Once the investigation is complete, the prosecution will decide whether to formally charge the rapper.
On July 5, A$AP Rocky, who was in Sweden to perform at a music festival, and his body guards were ordered held for two weeks after being detained two days earlier. Videos published on social media showed a person being violently thrown to the ground by the rapper. It was not clear who else was involved.
"This was a self-defense situation," A$AP Rocky’s defense lawyer Slobodan Jovicic told reporters. Asked how A$AP Rocky felt about it, Jovicic replied this was "a very bad experience.“
Soon after the news of his arrest broke, the movement #JusticeForRocky pushed for for the rapper's release. A petition calling for his release also garnered more than 500,000 signatures.
Adriano Espaillat, a New York Democrat in the U.S. House of Representatives, is also pushing for the release of the rapper, who was born in the Harlem neighborhood of New York City. "Everyone deserves to be treated equally and A$AP Rocky's rights continue to be violated. It is not a fair process," the congressman said in a statement to The Associated Press.
Espaillat said he has been in contact with the State Department and the U.S. Embassy in Sweden.
Earlier this week, Sweden's top prosecutor Petra Lundh said, "The fact that a suspect or a plaintiff is known is no reason for the person to receive a special treatment.“
Carl Risch, the U.S. assistant secretary of state for consular affairs, was seen leaving the Kronoberg prison in Stockholm Friday, where A$AP Rocky and his two body guards were being held, Sweden's TT news agency said. He declined to make comments as he left. The purpose of Risch's visit was not known.
The Associated Press contributed to this report. This story was reported from Los Angeles.