A New York congressman has promised to fight for A$AP Rocky’s release from prison.
The rapper was arrested in Sweden last week (July 2) having been accused of assaulting a man. He was then ordered to be detained for two weeks while police investigate the claims against him.
Congressman Adriano Espaillat, a representative for New York’s 13th Congressional District, has now joined legions of fans and celebrities calling for Rocky to be released. Earlier this week (July 10), Espaillat sent letters to the US State Department, US Embassy in Sweden, and the Swedish Ambassador in Washington D.C. explaining the star’s case and asking for their help in seeking justice.
Speaking to Complex, Espaillat explained why he was using his voice to try and help Rocky. “He’s part of a growing, young movement of artists that, first of all, I commend because they identify with the neighbourhood where they live, which in this case is Harlem,” he said. “Harlem is a neighbourhood that is very special because Harlem is not just about the Apollo or 125th Street. It’s really about an attitude and a personality and a history and a legacy.
“And so, for him to be a young person and continue to identify with Harlem, and be a strong presence of the artist community in Harlem, is great. That’s why I’m going to bat for him.”
The congressman continued to say that he has seen the tape of the incident the rapper was arrested over and said he was “provoked, and harassed, and followed, and accosted, and I think he acted in self-defence.”
Espaillat added: “I will continue to fight until he’s brought back home.”
A petition demanding Rocky’s release has now been signed by over half a million people. Stars including Tyga and Tyler, The Creator have also spoken out on his behalf, with the former cancelling a show in Sweden and the latter vowing not to play in the country again.
Meanwhile, Rocky has cancelled all of his upcoming European tour dates. Last weekend, J Hus filled in for the rapper at his scheduled performance at London’s Wireless festival.