A man was beaten to death on a street in Italy last week as a bystander filmed the attack and onlookers failed to intervene.
The attack took place on Friday in Civitanova Marche, a seaside town on the Adriatic Sea. The Italian news media identified the victim of the attack as Alika Ogorchukwu, 39, a Nigerian street vendor living in Italy.
A video of the incident showed a white man wrestling on the ground with Ogorchukwu, who is black. At points in the video, the attacker can be seen grappling, Ogorchukwo, pinning him to the ground and striking him.
Throughout the video, the camera operator remains silent and bystanders can be seen watching but failing to help as Ogorchukwo was beaten. According to CNN, one woman who saw the incident shouted “stop, stop immediately” and a man shouted “you’re killing him,” but still no one physically intervened.
Police from the city of Macerata told CNN the attacker took a crutch Ogorchukwu had used and beat Ogorchukwu with it before killing the Nigerian man with his bare hands.
After killing Ogorchukwu, the attacker reportedly stole his phone.
Police identified the attacking suspect as Filippo Ferlazzo, 32.
Macerata police arrested Ferlazzo for murder and robbery.
After his arrest, Ferlazzo expressed his apologies to Macerata investigating judge Claudio Bonifazi, the Italian newspaper Corriere Della Sera reported Monday. Ferlazzo agreed to cooperate with investigators and said the attack was not racially motivated.
It is still unclear why the attacker beat Ogorchukwu to death, but Macerata police told CNN it was likely for “petty reasons.”
Federica Trifoglio, one of Ferlazzo’s lawyers, told CNN that his client has psychiatric issues and they plan to file a psychiatric report.
Ogorchukwu’s wife Charity Oriachi expressed her outrage at seeing no one in the video intervene to stop her husband being beaten to death.
“That video is terrible, there were so many people around,” she told Corriere Della Sera. “Why didn’t anyone help him?”
She said if anyone had intervened “maybe now my Alika would still be here with me.”
Hundreds in the Nigerian community in Italy protested over the weekend in response to Ogorchukwu’s violent beating death.
Francisca Omayuli, the spokesperson for the Nigerian Foreign Ministry also expressed the Nigerian government’s condemnation of the deadly beating attack on Ogorchukwu.
“The Federal Government of Nigeria condemns in the strongest terms the unjustifiable murder of Mr. Ogorchukwu and calls on the Government of Italy to bring the perpetrator of the heinous act to book without delay,” Omayuli said.