Alika Ogorchukwu, 39, was beaten to death by Italian man Filippo Ferlazzo, 32
A bystander who filmed the horrific moment a father-of-two was attacked by a ‘male customer’ has sparked outrage after no one stepped in to help save him.
Police in Italy have arrested a 32-year-old man following the murder of a Nigerian street vendor whose brutal murder was filmed by onlookers who made no attempt to physically intervene.
Alika Ogorchukwu, 39, was beaten to death by an Italian man, identified as Filippo Claudio Giuseppe Ferlazzo, in Civitanova Marche’s busy town centre, a beach town on the Adriatic Sea, on Friday.
Police used street cameras to track Ferlazzo’s movements and arrested him on Saturday on charges of murder and allegedly stealing the victim’s mobile phone, according to local agency ANSA.
Local media have reported that Ferlazzo is currently being held in the Montacuto prison in Ancona. It is claimed he will not be charged with racism.
‘The situation is quite clear, everything seems to have emerged from a dispute over frivolous reasons, not racism’, said Matteo Luconi, one of the investigators.
Shocking video footage of the attack has circulated widely on social media, eliciting outrage as Italy enters a parliamentary election campaign in which the right-wing coalition has already made immigration an issue.
Alika was selling goods when his attacker grabbed the vendor’s crutch and struck him down with a series of blows, according to police.
The footage shows Ferlazzo wrestling the victim onto his back on the pavement as he fought back and climbing on top of Alika in an attempt to pin him to the ground
Alika’s wife, Charity Oriachi, said: ‘Now I just want justice for my husband’, during a protest at the murder scene on Saturday.
Enrico Letta, the leader of the left-wing Democratic Party, wrote on Twitter: ‘The murder of Alika Ogorchukwu leaves us dismayed. The unprecedented ferocity. Widespread indifference. There can be no justification.’
Right-wing leader Matteo Salvini, who is making security a plank of his campaign, also expressed outrage over the death, saying ‘security has no colour and needs to return to being a right.’
‘The aggressor went after the victim, first hitting him with a crutch. He made him fall to the ground, then he finished, causing the death, striking repeatedly with his bare hands,’ police investigator Matteo Luconi told a press conference.
He later told Italian news channel Sky TG24 that onlookers called police, who responded after the suspect had fled and attempted to administer aid to the victim. An autopsy will determine if the death was provoked by blows, suffocation or another cause.
Luconi said the assailant lashed out after the vendor made ‘insistent’ requests for pocket change. Police were questioning witnesses and viewing videos of the attack. They said the suspect has made no statement.
Alika, who was married with two children, resorted to selling goods on the street after he was struck by a car and lost his job as a labourer due to his injuries, said Daniel Amanza, who runs the ACSIM association for immigrants in the Marche region’s Macerata province.
Amanza gave a different version of what happened, claiming the Ferlazzo became infuriated when Alika told the man’s ‘girlfriend’ she was beautiful.
‘This compliment killed him,’ Amanza told The Associated Press.
‘The tragic fact is that there were many people nearby. They filmed, saying “Stop”, but no one moved to separate them,’ Amanza said.
Macerata was the site of a 2018 shooting spree targeting African immigrants that wounded six people. Luca Traini, 31, was sentenced to 12 years in prison for the shootings, which Italy’s highest court confirmed qualified as a hate crime.
Civitanova Marche’s mayor, Fabrizio Ciarapica, met with members of the Nigerian community after hundreds demonstrated at the scene of the crime on Saturday.
‘My condemnation is not only for the (crime) but it is also for the indifference,’ Ciarapica told Sky. ‘This is something that has shocked citizens.’
Former Premier Matteo Renzi, who heads his own small party, called out political leaders for ‘instrumentalising’ the attack.
‘I am horrified by this electoral climate’, he said on social media. ‘A father was killed in an atrocious and racist way while passersby took video without stopping the aggressor. And instead of reflecting on what we are becoming, politicians argue and instrumentalise.’
• Captain Ibrahim Traoré head of Burkina Faso junta
• Junta says its intelligence and security services have foiled a coup attempt
An attempted coup in Burkina Faso was thwarted on Tuesday by security and intelligence services, the ruling junta announced on Wednesday.
It did not provide specifics or the name of the coup plotters, but said arrests have been made, while manhunt has begun for other collaborators.
In a statement it said officers and others had planned to destabilise the country with “the dark intention of attacking the institutions of the Republic and plunging our country in chaos.”
“Investigations will help unmask the instigators of this plot,” the junta said.
The junta on Monday suspended French news magazine Jeune Afrique for publishing “untruthful” articles that reported tension and discontent within Burkina Faso’s armed forces.
The next day thousands of pro-junta demonstrators took to the streets of the capital Ouagadougou and elsewhere to show their support, citing rumours of a brewing mutiny against the authorities.
The junta came to power after two military coups last year, triggered in part by worsening insurgency by armed groups linked to al Qaeda and Islamic State that has destabilised Burkina Faso and its neighbours in West Africa’s Sahel region.
Over 50 Burkinabe soldiers and volunteer fighters were killed in clashes with militants in early September – the heaviest losses in months.
A patient suffering from an eye infection gets examined by a doctor at a hospital in Lahore on September 27, 2023. More than 56,000 Pakistan schools will shut for the remainder of the week in a bid to curb a mass outbreak of a contagious eye virus, officials said on September 27. – AFP photo.
More than 56,000 Pakistan schools will shut for the rest of the week in a bid to curb a mass outbreak of a contagious eye virus, officials said Wednesday.
Millions of students will stay home from tomorrow after Punjab, Pakistan’s most populous province, announced blanket closures having recorded 357,000 conjunctivitis cases since the start of the year.
The fast-spreading eye infection causes redness, itchiness and discharge from the eyes and contamination can spread through hand contact, as well as coughing and sneezing.
“The closure has been announced as a proactive measure to give maximum protection to students against the infection,” Punjab Education Department spokesman Zulfiqar Ali told AFP.
There are 127,000,000 residents in eastern Punjab province and 56,000 state schools, as well as thousands of independent schools also subject to the shutdown.
“We hope this will break the cycle of the infection in the province,” Ali said.
The United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defence is offering soldiers to support armed police in London after dozens of police officers stood down from firearms duties, BBC reports.
More than 100 officers have turned in permits allowing them to carry weapons, a source told the BBC, in support of a fellow officer who has been charged with murder over the fatal shooting of a young Black man, Chris Kaba.
The officer, named only as NX121, who appeared in court last week, has been charged over the death of Chris Kaba in September 2022.
Kaba died hours after he was struck by a single gunshot fired into the vehicle he was driving in the Streatham area of South London.
It later emerged that the Audi Mr Kaba was driving, which did not belong to him, had been linked by police to a gun incident the day before.
His death prompted a number of protests and renewed allegations of racism within the force.
The Ministry of Defence said it received a request, known as Military Aid to the Civil Authorities, from the Home Office to “provide routine counter-terrorism contingency support to the Metropolitan Police, should it be needed”.
A MACA is offered to the police or the NHS in emergency situations. The military helped medical staff in the Covid pandemic and covered for striking border staff and paramedics last year.
The Met said it was a “contingency option” that would only be used “in specific circumstances and where an appropriate policing response was not available”.
Military staff would not be used “in a routine policing capacity”, it added.
On Saturday, the Met said its own officers still make up the vast majority of armed police in the capital but they were being supported by a limited number of firearms officers from neighbouring forces.
Announcing the review, Home Secretary Suella Braverman said the public “depend on our brave firearms officers to protect us”.
“In the interest of public safety they have to make split-second decisions under extraordinary pressures.”
She said that officers have her “full backing”.
“I will do everything in my power to support them,” she added.
In his letter to the home secretary, the Met Police commissioner, Sir Mark Rowley, said that a system where officers are investigated for “safely pursuing suspects” should not have been allowed to develop.
Sir Mark said he would “make no comment” on any ongoing legal matters, but “the issues raised in this letter go back further”.
He said firearms officers are concerned that they will face years of legal proceedings, “even if they stick to the tactics and training they have been given”.
“Officers need sufficient legal protection to enable them to do their job and keep the public safe, and the confidence that it will be applied consistently and without fear or favour,” he wrote.
But in instances where officers act improperly, Sir Mark said the system “needs to move swiftly” rather than “tying itself in knots pursuing good officers through multiple legal processes”.