Kim Kardashian West has reached out to the White House on behalf of American rapper ASAP Rocky, who remains jailed in Sweden for more than two weeks after coming in voluntarily to answer police questions about a street fight that was caught on video.
“Thank you @realDonaldTrump , @SecPompeo, Jared Kushner & everyone involved with the efforts to Free ASAP Rocky & his two friends. Your commitment to justice reform is so appreciated,” she tweeted Thursday afternoon.
Kardashian West reached out to presidential advisor Kushner, with whom she has a working relationship regarding criminal justice reform, a person “familiar with the situation” told the Washington Post. According to TMZ, which first reported the news, she was urged to do so by husband Kanye West.
Kushner then took the reality star’s message to President Trump, who “told Kushner he believed ASAP was being held unfairly, and wanted to help,” TMZ said.
This is not the first time Kardashian West has dabbled in criminal justice reform. Since working with Trump last year to free Alice Marie Johnson, she has reportedly helped commute the life sentences of at least 17 inmates. She is also studying to become a lawyer.
It appears that a group effort on ASAP Rocky’s behalf is now taking shape in Washington, D.C., too.
Members of Congress are involved, with Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) saying on Twitter, “For yrs, the hip hop police harassed artists in NYC, LA, the dirty South & beyond. Some thought those days had ended. But racially-charged policing endures. And apparently it’s worldwide #FreeASAPRocky.”
Rep. Adriano Espaillat, also a New York Democrat, told ABC News that he’d visited the family of ASAP Rocky (real name Rakim Mayers) as well as those of the two men arrested with him.
“I am proud to stand with my colleagues @RepJeffries @JoaquinCastrotx @RepAndreCarson to demand immediate rectification of this injustice and the release of A$AP, Cornell, and Riggins without delay. #JusticeforASAP #FreeASAP,” Espaillat tweeted Wednesday, the same day he and others held a press conference demanding the jailed rapper’s release.
Assistant Secretary of State for Consular Affairs Carl Risch was traveling to Sweden on Thursday, the State Department said in a press release Wednesday, to “meet with foreign government counterparts to underscore the enduring commitment to the safety and welfare of U.S. citizens overseas,” among other things.
Meanwhile, as other celebrities stepped up to support the rapper’s cause, a petition calling for his release had swelled to more than 600,000 signers.
Rocky was arrested July 3 along with two other members of his crew, and none has been charged so far. Since then, concerns have been raised about the trio being held without charges being filed. Under Swedish law, prosecutors have three days to file, but in this case they went to a judge and got an extension to allow for investigation.
Though concerns were raised about conditions at the jail, those were dismissed last week by Rocky’s attorney, Henrik Olsson Lilja, who told a Swedish publication Tuesday that the jail was normal; only the arrest was inhumane.
The arrests are linked to a June 30 street fight between ASAP Rocky’s crew and a couple of men who had been following them for blocks.
The first video of the altercation to surface online showed Rocky and his entourage hammering on the two men in broad daylight. The 30-year-old rapper could be seen grabbing one of the men by his shirt or shoulders and hurling him across the street. Then others from the entourage started hitting and kicking the man.
Both parties were speaking different languages, making the exchange more difficult to understand, though the men attempted some English as one complained about his headphones.
However, another two videos posted by Rocky on his Instagram showed that the two men had been bothering the entourage well before the altercation took place, with the rapper and his bodyguard trying to defuse the situation.
At one point, a woman could be overheard saying the guys had slapped the backsides of her and a friend earlier.