Congressman Adriano Espaillat, U.S. Representative for New York's Thirteenth Congressional District, sat down with Complex for an interview where he vowed to keep fighting for ASAP Rocky's return.
Rocky is currently being detained in Sweden after an altercation between him and two Swedish nationals. Rocky and two of his peers were seen fighting with the men after the rapper's security was allegedly assaulted with headphones.
Espaillat values Rocky as a member of the Harlem community:
"He's part of a growing, young movement of artists that, first of all, I commend because they identify with the neighborhood where they live, which in this case is Harlem," Espaillat told Complex. "Harlem is a neighborhood 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 does not agree that Rocky should remain in custody throughout the investigation and has written letters to the Swedish Embassy and the State Department petitioning for his release.
"They don't have to keep him in jail. If he has a court appearance, first and foremost, it should be done expeditiously. It shouldn't be a long, protracted wait because that's damaging in itself. So you got to wait a couple of months just to tell that you're innocent?" he said.
"And then you're away from your family and your work for several months? That's not fair. That's not just. I think that not only is it incumbent upon the Swedish authorities to release him or have him see a judge as quickly as possible. And for that to be done expeditiously without any further financial damages to him and his family."