Function of race contested in killing of Nigerian man in Italy

CIVITANOVA MARCHE, Italy (AP) — Black Italians marched via a well-to-do Adriatic seashore city Saturday demanding that authorities reverse themselves and acknowledge the position of race within the brutal daylight killing of a Nigerian immigrant.

A number of witnesses filmed the July 29 assault however did not bodily intervene. A broadly circulated video confirmed a person wrestling to the bottom and strangling avenue vendor Alika Ogorchukwu, 39. Onlookers shouted for the aggressor to cease however did not come to Ogorchukwu’s support as he struggled to free himself, a undeniable fact that added to public outrage over the killing.

Police arrested for suspect, Filippo Ferlazzo, 32, however instantly dominated out a racial motivation for the assault within the Italian city of Civitanova Marche. Ferlazzo’s lawyer, Roberta Bizzarri, stated prosecutors confirmed that dedication in his shopper’s charging doc.

In line with police, Ferlazzo first struck Ogorchukwu with a strolling crutch the seller used, having pursued him some 200 meters down a procuring avenue lined with high-end boutiques. Some accounts stated Ogorchukwu had complimented Ferlazzo’s companion whereas attempting to make a sale or ask for spare change, others that he had touched or caressed his companion’s arm.

Townspeople, taking the lead of regulation enforcement officers, have attributed the Nigerian man’s dying to an insistent street-seller sadly clashing with a person with a court-documented historical past of psychological sickness.

“This isn’t a racist metropolis,” newsstand proprietor Domenico Giordano stated. “That is an open metropolis. Should you behave nicely, you might be welcomed and even helped.”

Folks have left flowers and notes of condolence on the sidewalk the place Ogorchukwu died, in entrance of a beachwear boutique that was closed for lunch on the time.

Retailer proprietor Laura Latino stated she has obtained detrimental critiques from as far-off as Houston accusing her of standing by and doing nothing when she wasn’t there.

”Watch out about judging a metropolis of 45,000 individuals,” Latino stated, including that she thinks propaganda across the dying was “ruining the repute of the town.”

Metropolis officers have expressed concern that the killing would turn out to be politicized as Italy prepares for parliamentary elections subsequent month.

The position of race within the case is so charged {that a} native newspaper, il Resto del Carlino, carried a headline promising that “the phrase racism” wouldn’t be used throughout Saturday’s march.

However a manifesto for the occasion, billed because the nation’s first to be organized by Black Italians, lists the popularity of the position of race in what occurred to Ogorchukwu as the primary of 11 calls for. Some 30 organizations stated they might search to hitch the prosecution as a civil complainant on behalf of “racialized individuals.”

Ogorchukwu’s widow, Charity Oriakhi, is reluctant to say the killing was racially motivated.

“It’s simply somebody who’s depraved,” Oriakhi informed The Related Press. “He desires to kill somebody, that’s what I really feel.”

She stated each she and her husband had all the time felt welcome in Italy and that he by no means recounted having detrimental interactions when he was out promoting. The truth is, she stated, he usually got here dwelling with presents from Italians for the couple’s 8-year-old son.

The pair hailed from completely different components of Nigeria and met within the Tuscan city of Prato a couple of decade in the past, shortly after Ogorchukwu’s arrival in Italy, and later resettled within the Marche area in an condominium above a marble workshop within the small hillside city of San Severino .

The Nigerian authorities has condemned Ogorchukwu’s dying, and the West African nation’s Overseas Affairs Ministry urged Italian authorities to “convey the perpetrator of the heinous act to e book immediately.”

Nigerians who’ve lived in Italy for many years and organizers of Saturday’s march say race can’t be excluded as a motive.

“The phrase racism can’t be minimized as a result of it exists,” stated Daniel Amanze, an activist based mostly in Macerata who arrived in Italy from Nigeria as a pupil 40 years in the past. He stated he perceived racism turning into extra “apparent” in recent times as some politicians scapegoat immigrants as cowl “for his or her poor administration and the malaise you see each day.”

Amanze stated Ogorchukwu’s killing renewed a way of concern amongst Africans residing within the Marche area that had began to dissipate following two different racially motivated assaults: a 2018 capturing spree by a one-time far-right political activist focusing on Africans in Macerata that wounded six, and the dying of a Nigerian man who was attacked after defending his spouse from racial abuse within the city of Fermo in 2016.

Ogorchukwu used a crutch as a result of a automobile struck him whereas he was on a bicycle a yr in the past, leaving him with a limp, in response to individuals who knew him. The household’s lawyer, Franceso Mantella, stated the road vendor continued to hawk wares, from tissues to straw hats, even after an insurance coverage settlement supplied a bit extra monetary safety together with Oriakhi’s job cleansing a practice station.

The widow stated she final noticed her husband when he gave her a sandwich on the station earlier than he set out for Civitanova the Friday he died. She is haunted by the pictures on the video, and retains the TV at dwelling off so her son dela does n’t see them.

“I noticed the video, simply when the boy was strangling laborious, very, very laborious, and my husband was struggling like this,” she stated, mimicking the stranglehold. “What hurts me most, is there are individuals circled. They do a video. Nobody to assist. I want somebody rescued him. Perhaps he would not be useless.”


Chinedu Asadu in Lagos, Nigeria and Gianfranco Stara in Civitanova Marche contributed.

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