21 Savage’s legal team say rapper has done ‘nothing wrong’ amid gun reports
The British-born rapper remains in custody after being detained by immigration officials on Sunday.
Grammy-nominated rapper 21 Savage’s legal team has said a gun reportedly found in a car he was driving when he was arrested does not belong to him.
The British-born musician was detained by US Immigration And Customs Enforcement (ICE) in Atlanta, Georgia, on Sunday, after allegedly overstaying his visa.
His legal team insist he is being wrongly held and argue a pending visa application means he should be freed from custody.
On Wednesday, reports in the US cited Atlanta police reports saying 21 Savage was in a car that was driving recklessly and a loaded pistol was found in the glove compartment after his arrest.
Alex Spiro, a lawyer hired by Jay-Z to work on 21 Savage’s case, said neither the gun nor the car belonged to the rapper.
He said: “ICE has confirmed he was targeted for immigration enforcement and nothing more. He was never arrested by the police, and some other individual’s firearm and vehicle is not our concern here.”
Another of 21 Savage’s lawyers, Brian Steel, added: “That was not his car and the gun retrieved is not his. No one will be falsely accusing my client. 21 Savage has done absolutely nothing wrong.”
Mr Steel did not say who the gun or car belonged to.
It comes as a petition demanding the rapper’s release attracted more than 380,000 signatures, with celebrities including Meek Mill, Cardi B and Offset joining Jay-Z in condemning his arrest.
ICE says 26-year-old 21 Savage, whose real name is Sha Yaa Bin Abraham-Joseph, is a British national who moved to the States aged 12 in 2005 and went on to overstay his visa.
His lawyers say his legal immigrant status expired in 2006 “through no fault of his own” and he should be eligible to fight his removal from the country in court.
The U visa he has applied for is for victims of crime, after his lawyers said he survived a shooting in 2013.
21 Savage is nominated for two Grammy Awards at this weekend’s ceremony, including record of the year for the chart-topping track Rockstar with fellow rapper Post Malone.