Facing Facts Statement
Facing Facts echoes ENAR’s call for justice for Alika Ogorchukwo and his family. We also support ENAR’s recommendations on implementing minimum standards on recording and investigating hate crimes in Europe.
Acknowledging the perception of a racist motive and the impact on communities is part of basic hate crime training. Police training on hate crime has been offered to Italian police since 2013. Efforts have been made to improve hate crime recording and training. All police now have access to a national online programme along with guidance and guidelines that are underpinned by clear legal obligations. These steps are meaningless unless what is learned is exhaustively applied without bias and with accountability in these–the most devastating–cases.
The impact of the offender’s brutal violence and the terrible passivity of his onlookers on Black communities in Italy must be acknowledged by those leaders and institutions that have a responsibility to protect them. Instead a police press release failed to unequivocally address the possibility of a racist motive. This is a form of institutional gaslighting in the wake of yet another killing of a Black man in Italy.
It is still possible to acknowledge the growing view that this was a racist killing, to explain to the family and the public the steps that have and will be taken to investigate racist motives, without prejudging the outcome of any criminal proceedings. Videos taken by bystanders who failed to intervene show Alika being attacked by his own crutch, an indicator of an additional disablist motive. The police can still seek further connection with victim and community support organisations and strive to match their practice with their own policies, and with the international norms that Italy has committed to fulfil. These are the steps that lead towards institutional transformation.
See Facing Facts’ Victim and Outcome Focused model for improving hate crime responses to help understand why a victim focused approach is so important when responding to hate crime