Police have arrested an Italian man for the murder of a Nigerian peddler whose death was brutally portrayed by onlookers on a busy coastal city road without apparently making any attempt to physically intervene.
Video footage of the attack has spread widely on Italian news sites and social media, sparking outrage as Italy enters a parliamentary election campaign in which the right-wing coalition has already made immigration a problem.
Enrico Letta, former prime minister and head of the Left Democratic Party, wrote on Twitter on Saturday, naming the seller who died on Friday: “The death of Aleka Ogorchukwu is frightening.” “The unheard of ferocity. Indifference spread. There can be no justification.”
Right-wing leader Matteo Salvini, who makes security a campaign item, also expressed his anger over the death, saying: “Security has no color and … it must go back to being really.”
Police said Ogorchoko, 39, was selling goods on Friday on the main street of Civitanova Marche, a beach town on the Adriatic Sea, when his attacker grabbed the seller’s crutch and hit him on the ground. The video clip showed the attacker wrestling the victim on his back on the sidewalk as he resisted, eventually subduing Ogorchoko with the weight of his body.
“The assailant chased the victim and first hit him with a crutch. He made him fall to the ground and then finished causing his death and hit him repeatedly with his bare hands,” police investigator Matteo Lusoni told a news conference.
He later told Italian news channel Sky TG24 that onlookers called the police, who responded after the suspect ran away and tried to provide assistance to the victim. An autopsy will determine whether death was due to blows, suffocation, or another cause.
Police used street cameras to track the movements of the attacker and arrested a 32-year-old man named Filippo Claudio Giuseppe Verlazo. He was being held on suspicion of murder and theft for allegedly taking the victim’s phone.
Lucconi said the attacker was criticized after the seller made “urgent” requests to change the pocket. The police were questioning witnesses and watching videos of the attack. They said the suspect made no statement.
Daniel Amanza, who runs ACSIM for immigrants in the Marche region, said Ogorchoko, who was married with two children, resorted to selling goods on the street after being hit by a car and lost his job as a laborer due to his injuries. Macerata County.
Amanza gave a different account of what happened, saying that the attacker got angry when Ogorchoko told the man’s companion that she was beautiful.
“That compliment killed him,” Amanza told The Associated Press.
“The tragic truth is that there were a lot of people around. They filmed saying stop, but no one moved to separate them.”
> Macerata was the site of a 2018 shooting targeting African migrants that injured six people. Luca Trini, 31, was sentenced to 12 years in prison for the shooting, which Italy’s highest court confirmed was a hate crime.
Civitanova Mayor Marche, Fabrizio Syarapika, met with members of the Nigerian community after hundreds demonstrated on Saturday.
“My conviction is not only for [crime] But this is also for indifference. “This is something that shocked the citizens.”
Former Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, who heads his small party, called on political leaders to “take advantage” of the attack.
He said on social media “I am terrified by this electoral climate. A father was murdered in a horrible and racist manner while bystanders filmed the non-stop video of the assailant. Instead of thinking about what we have become, politicians argue and use tools.”