It happened few days before my birthday. It was the night of the 3th march 2014. I remember I was in a desperate situation because of university, I wanted graduate on April but finally I wasn’t able.

Riccardo Magherini

In the meantime in Florence, just over 30 kilometers to me, a man had dinner with his Arab friends

in a nearby restaurant. About me, in my nearby town probably I was still on my Labour law’s handbook with the dark circles up to the knees. Instead that man enjoyed with his foreign friends and he came into their hotel for spending a little more time together. Two hours later the man left from the St. Regis, one of the most posh hotel in the Florence’s center, and cross the Arno’s river. Four years later I can’t count how many times I have come down that road. Before leaving for Prilep I worked as waitress in Florence and I lived just in front of the hotel, I mean I could see people inside their own rooms from my kitchen’s window! But back to the man. He walks along Vespucci bridge. Maybe he steals a plant from a coffee bar, maybe he shakes someone, probably he is excited because of cocaine and he yells during his way, maybe he breaks a shop window. We do not know it certainly because nothing is clear in this story.  It is sure that people call police. In the meantime that man arrives in Borgo San Frediano looking straight Nerli’ s Square. In the corner between the square and the Borgo San Frediano street there is the pizzeria when I will work four years later. I can imagine each one of his steps, each hole he met and maybe he was not able to avoid until arriving the pizzeria’s corner.  Anyway the man does not want pizza, he takes Borgo San Frediano but police comes and blocks him by throwing him on the ground and immobilizing him. The police beat up that man and push him because of his dangerousness. The man start complaining, he says “I cannot breathe” “I am dying” “I have a son” “Call the ambulance!”. Police does not believe him, does not make him stand up. There is a video that prove what I am saying → https://youtu.be/Z5cVVWWWV9s  Obviously it is in Italian but when the writing is yellow is Riccardo who speaks and he says what I wrote just before: “Ahi, Ahi” “Call ambulance, please, Call it!” “Save me, save me” “Save me, help me” “Help me” “ Do not do it, please” “They shot me!”“I have a son, I have a son”, “Help me”. 


Riccardo Magherini’s family in front of Florence Courthouse


When the ambulance come, that man is already dead.

That man was called Riccardo Magherini, he was 40 years old and everyone in Florence knew him. He had been a Fiorentina’s footballer when he was younger.

I went there, I walked on that street, I stopped in the same point where his life ended. There was his photo, I remember.

Police said that Riccardo died of “natural cause”, in particular of cardiac arrest caused by taking cocaine. His brother after seeing the condition of Riccardo’s body did not believe the police and he started a process by accusing police of killing Riccardo. A nice group of people sided with the Riccardo’s family and their slogan was “I ♥ Riky”.

The first degree process finished with a verdict that it sentenced three policemen of manslaughter and it exonerated the ambulance’s nursers. The second degree process was ended by confirming the same verdict and by increasing the punishment: the policemen were convicted to pay compensation to the victims and to pay the process spending. Finally there was the last verdict some days ago. After four years process  Florence’s courthouse inexplicably ruled that policeman are innocent because the fact to hit and keep on the ground Riccardo by pushing on him “does not constitute a criminal offence”. In other words the Court said that the fact to let dying a person it is not a criminal offence. I mean, they were not doctors! How they could understand that man was dying? Let’s make the example of when your little brother is crying maybe because he has a colic by annoying you and all the neighborhood. What will you do? Obviously it is advisable to trow the child on the ground and push until he will be calm. If your mother will surprise you in this action you could always say that it was necessary to block him because he was dangerous for you and your neighbors and also you cannot understand it was the moment to make him sit down. Finally, if the child will die, you could apologize yourself by stating it happened for natural causes.

Riccardo and his son Brando

I am sorry I was so cruel, but mine was just a speech, instead policemen did it really with Riccardo and they killed him really. In Italy we still are waiting for the explanations from the Court and Riccardo and his family are still waiting for having justice.


I ♥ Riky!


Written by: Vanessa TORCASSO