African immigrants protest in Florence after vendor is killed
Florence, Italy — African immigrants marched through the streets of central Florence late on Monday chanting "no more racism" after an Italian man shot dead a Senegalese street vendor earlier in the day.
Police said Roberto Pirrone had fired six pistol shots at close range, killing Idy Dienec as he sold leather bags, umbrellas and trinkets on a bridge in the Tuscan city. Later, dozens of immigrants marched through the centre of Florence, knocking over rubbish bins, scooters and large flower pots.
The shooting came a day after a parliamentary election in which politicians often portrayed migrants as criminals and called for mass deportations. Police said on Tuesday that the murder was not racially motivated, citing testimony Pirrone had given to investigators after his arrest.
Pirrone, who had a licence to carry a weapon, was suicidal and lashed out in a state of confusion, investigators said.
But the timing of the attack raised suspicions among the large Senegalese community. In the election, the anti-immigrant League became the second-biggest party in parliament.
"The fact that the elections went the way they did shows the kind of mood the country is in," said Pape Diaw, a representative of the Senegalese community. "Italy has become a country where blacks are shot on the street."