The attacker who killed a Nigerian street trader in broad daylight in Italy “was enraged after the victim said his girlfriend was beautiful.”
Nigerian street vendor Alika Ogorchukwu, 39, was beaten to death on Friday by an Italian man, identified as Filippo Claudio Giuseppe Ferlazzo, in the busy city center of Civitanova Marche, a seaside resort on the Adriatic Sea.
Ferlazzo became furious when Mr Ogorchukwu told the man’s “girlfriend” that she was beautiful, claimed Daniel Amanza, who heads the ACSIM association for immigrants in Macerata province in the Marche region.
“This compliment killed him,” Mr Amanza told The Associated Press.
“The tragic fact is that there were a lot of people around. They filmed and said ‘Stop,’ but no one moved to break them up,” Amanza said.
The brutal death of the father of two was filmed by onlookers who made no attempt to physically intervene, sparking outrage online.
Yesterday, police in Italy arrested 32-year-old Ferlazzo for the murder of Mr Ogorchukwu and stealing the victim’s cell phone, according to local agency ANSA.
Police used street cameras to track Ferlazzo’s movements and arrested him on Saturday. Local media have reported that Ferlazzo is currently being held in Montacuto Prison in Ancona. It is claimed that he will not be charged with racism.
“The situation is quite clear, everything seems to have arisen from a dispute over frivolous reasons, not racism,” said Matteo Luconi, one of the researchers.
Alika Ogorchukwu, 39, (pictured) was beaten to death on Friday by an Italian man, identified as Filippo Claudio Giuseppe Ferlazzo, in the busy city center of Civitanova Marche.
Police in Italy have arrested a 32-year-old man after the murder of a Nigerian street vendor whose brutal murder was filmed by onlookers who made no attempt to physically intervene
The footage shows Ferlazzo wrestling the victim on his back on the pavement as he fights back and climbs on top of Alika in an attempt to push him to the ground
Alika was selling goods when his assailant grabbed the seller’s crutch and knocked him down with a series of blows, police say
Shocking video footage of the attack has circulated widely on social media, sparking outrage as Italy participates in a parliamentary election campaign in which the right-wing coalition has already made immigration a problem.
According to police, Ogorchukwu was selling goods when his attacker grabbed the seller’s crutch and knocked him down with a series of blows.
The footage shows Ferlazzo wrestling the victim on his back on the pavement as he fought back and climbed on top of Mr Ogorchukwu in an attempt to push him to the ground.
Mr Ogorchukwu’s wife Charity Oriachi said ‘Now I just want justice for my husband’ during a crime scene protest on Saturday.
Enrico Letta, the leader of the left-wing Democratic Party, wrote on Twitter: “The murder of Alika Ogorchukwu leaves us stunned. The unprecedented cruelty. Widespread indifference. There can be no justification.’
Right-wing leader Matteo Salvini, who has made security a part of his campaign, also expressed outrage at the death, saying: “Security has no color and must become a right again.”
“The aggressor went after the victim and hit him first with a crutch. He dropped it to the ground and finished, which resulted in death, by striking with his bare hands repeatedly,” police investigator Matteo Luconi told a news conference.
He later told Italian news channel Sky TG24 that onlookers called the police, who responded after the suspect fled and tried to help the victim. An autopsy will determine whether death was provoked by beatings, asphyxiation, or some other cause.
Mr Luconi said the attacker lashed out after the seller made “persistent” requests for change. Police questioned witnesses and viewed videos of the attack. They said the suspect has not made a statement.
Mr Ogorchukwu, who was married with two children aged 8 and 10, resorted to selling goods on the street after being hit by a car and losing his job as a laborer due to his injuries, said Mr Amanza of the ACSIM Association for Immigrants.
Alika, who was married with two children, struggled in the shocking footage
Enrico Letta, the leader of the left-wing Democratic Party, wrote on Twitter: “The murder of Alika Ogorchukwu leaves us stunned. The unprecedented cruelty. Widespread indifference. There can be no justification’
Macerata was the site of a 2018 shooting targeting African immigrants that injured six people. Luca Traini, 31, was sentenced to 12 years in prison for the shooting, which was classified as a hate crime according to Italy’s highest court.
Civitanova Marche mayor Fabrizio Ciarapica met with members of the Nigerian community on Saturday after hundreds of people demonstrated at the crime scene.
“My conviction is not only for the (crime) but also for the indifference,” Mr Ciarapica told Sky. “This is something that has shocked citizens.”
Former Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, who leads his own small party, called on political leaders to “instrumentalize” the attack.
“I am shocked by this electoral climate,” he said on social media. “A father was brutally and racially murdered while passersby made videos without stopping the aggressor. And instead of thinking about what we are becoming, politicians argue and instrumentalize.’