Italy, Europe Brief News — Police in Italy have detained an Italian man in connection with the murder of a Nigerian street seller, whose horrific beating death on a busy beach town street was seen on camera by bystanders who made no apparent move to help.
As Italy begins a legislative election campaign in which the right-wing alliance has already made immigration an issue, video footage of the incident has been extensively shared on Italian news websites and social media, sparking anger.
“The murder of Alika Ogorchukwu is shocking,” Enrico Letta, a former prime minister and the leader of the left-leaning Democratic Party, said on Twitter on Saturday, identifying the street seller who was killed on Friday. “Unprecedented savagery. A widespread lack of interest. There is no possible justification.”
Right-wing politician Matteo Salvini, whose campaign platform includes security, expressed fury over the killing, stating that “security has no colour and… must return to being a right.”
According to authorities, Ogorchukwu, 39, was selling items on the main street of Civitanova Marche, a coastal resort on the Adriatic Sea, on Friday when his attacker seized the vendor’s crutch knocked him to the ground. Ogorchukwu was finally subdued by the weight of his own body, as captured on video showing the assailant dragging the victim onto his back on the pavement. At the same time, he fought back and Ogorchukwu fighting back.
“The perpetrator initially struck the victim with a crutch before pursuing him. During a news conference, Matteo Luconi, a police investigator, stated, “He knocked him to the ground and then caused his death by punching him repeatedly with his bare hands.”
Later, he informed the Italian television station Sky TG24 that witnesses alerted the police, who arrived after the perpetrator escaped and sought to assist the victim. An autopsy will reveal if the cause of death was blows, asphyxia, or anything else.
The shooter in Macerata had a solid right-wing history.
The 32-year-old suspect, Filippo Claudio Giuseppe Ferlazzo, was apprehended using street cameras to trace his activities. For reportedly stealing the victim’s phone, he was detained on suspicion of murder and theft.
Luconi stated that the attacker struck after the street seller made “persistent” demands for pocket change. The police interrogated witnesses and saw recordings of the incident. According to them, the suspect has not remarked.
Ogorchukwu, who was married and had two children, began selling products on the street when he was hit by a car and lost his work as a labourer owing to his injuries, according to Daniel Amanza, who manages the ACSIM group for immigrants in the province of Macerata in the Marche area.
Amanza provided a different account, stating that the assailant grew enraged when Ogorchukwu complimented his companion’s beauty.
“This praise killed him,” stated Amanza.
“The terrible reality is that many individuals were around. They videotaped while yelling ‘Stop,’ but no one intervened to separate them,” Amanza explained.
The city has a recent record of anti-immigrant assaults.
In 2018, Macerata was on the scene of a gun spree that injured six African immigrants. The 31-year-old Luca Traini was sentenced to 12 years in jail for the shootings, which Italy’s top court decided were hate crimes.
The mayor of Civitanova Marche, Fabrizio Ciarapica, met with members of the Nigerian community on Saturday, after hundreds demonstrated.
“My condemnation extends not only to the (crime) but also to the apathy,” Ciarapica told Sky. “Citizens are astonished by this development.”
Former Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, who now leads his tiny political group, criticized political leaders for “instrumentalizing” the assault.
“I am appalled by the current political atmosphere,” he wrote on social media. “A father was murdered in a heinous and racist manner as others filmed the crime without stopping the perpetrator. And instead of considering what we are becoming, politicians quarrel and politicize.”