'Enough Racism' Senegalese outrage after Florence murder

 ROME – An enraged Senegalese community took to the streets of Florence protesting the mindless killing of 54-year-old, Idy Diene, as Chief Prosecutor declares “racist motives should be ruled out.”

 Roberto Pirrone, the 65-year-old killer, has stated that “the first one who passed by, I shot him,” firing several times into the Diene’s chest as he crossed the Vespucci Bridge on Monday morning. Despite the efforts of a medical team, who were temporarily able to revive the man, he passed away soon after the shooting.

 Speaking to police directly after the shocking incident, Pirrone explains how he left his house allegedly intent on taking his own life, but admits he “did not have the courage” to do so, switching target instead to the hapless Senegalese man, believed to have been a street seller. Diene, however, was not the first person Pirrone came across, purportedly restraining himself from taking out a family with children.

 Subsequent investigations into Pirrone’s homicidal drive remain unclear, although his initial suicidal motives were reportedly economic, seeking a jail sentence so as to cease to be a burden to his family, as discovered in a farewell note left to his daughter.

 However, this disastrous episode does not come as an isolate event. Ensuing protests base their rage on several murders, whilst connections have been made between Monday’s occurrences and the killing by an extreme-right sympathiser, Gianluca Casseri, of two Senegalese on Dec 13, 2011, also in Florence. One of these men, was apparently a relative to Diene.

 A Florentine Imam has pointed to the growing “climate of intolerance of this electoral campaign,” despite the insistence of Giuseppe Creazzo, Florence Chief Prosecutor, stating that “no links to political groups have emerged, never mind right-wing or racist ones.”

 The situation remains fragile in Florence following the tragedy, felt most acutely by the Senegalese, who make up 21.9 percent of the Tuscan community. Many remained parked on the bridge, expressing their anger and declaring they would stay “as long as is necessary.”