An Italian police officer has been placed under investigation after shooting a knife-wielding Ghanian migrant in the legs who was threatening passersby.
The police officer is being investigated for “negligent excess in the legitimate use of weapons” after shooting the 44-year-old Ghanian at Rome’s Termini train station on Friday.
The African had been spotted at the train station at around 7:20 pm with a large kitchen knife and had been threatening passersby heading into the train station before local officials attempted to calm the migrant down, Il Giornale reports.
Police then tried to contain the man and keep him away from passengers when one of the officers opened fire on the 44-year-old after believing that he was about to attack officials, wounding him in the legs. The migrant was later taken to a local hospital in stable condition.
The Ghanian is said to have a history of criminal behaviour and has already been accused of several acts of vandalism and violence, including attacking statues in several Roman churches and attacking an Islamic centre in the city, injuring an imam.
Migrant to Italian Police: ‘In Ghana, I Would Have Slit Your Throat’ https://t.co/hnF9DcaAKh
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) April 2, 2021
Domenico Pianese, president of the police union Coisp, said the investigation penalised the officer who stopped a potential massacre.
“The officer, with a salary of €1,500 (£1,280/$1,790) per month, will have to appoint his own defence, an expert and lawyer: they will cost thousands of euros that we at Coisp have offered to support, especially since the migrant, for his defence, will have free legal aid and, of course, at taxpayers’ expense,” Pianese said.
Several politicians have also commented on the incident in support of the officer, such as populist League leader Matteo Salvini who called for the migrant’s deportation and stated: “Investigate the policeman, who defended colleagues and citizens from the violence of an illegal and potential Islamic terrorist? All my esteem and solidarity with the agent.”
Giorgia Meloni, leader of the national-conservative Brothers of Italy (FdI), also expressed solidarity, saying that her party “is at the side of our men and women in uniform who risk their lives every day to ensure our safety”.
Nearly One in Three Crimes In Italy Committed By Foreigners https://t.co/vtTPg7twKk
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The case comes just months after another incident involving a Ghanian migrant and Italian police in the city of Como.
The 49-year-old, like the migrant in Rome, had been harassing locals when police approached him. The Ghanian became aggressive with officers, stating: “In Ghana, I would have slit your throat.”
“In Italy, justice sucks, and you can’t do anything to me,” he added.