Italian authorities opened an investigation after he appeared on the Internet a video of the incident on which the debate racist insults.
African migrants drowned in the Grand Canal in Venice, while tourists and local filmed the scene with their mobile phones.
A boy named Patel Saba, or 22 years Gambier, jumped from the dock into the water and men swam to the middle of the channel.
Hundreds of people took part in the incident, and at least three belts were thrown into the water next to the boy, but he refused to catch them, which caused many to suspect that Gambian wants to commit suicide. None of the others jumped to help, reports the Mirror.
“It’s stupid. He wants to die,” said one person, while the other shouted to him to go back where they came from.
Witnesses at one point started to laugh, and one of those presents said it should stay dead. His lifeless body was later pulled from the water.
One taxi driver told local media that the boy threw himself in the water that was thrown life jackets, but that he refused to help.
“He was desperate. I do not know what is his story. They said that African. Who knows what the string passed as oceans and deserts crossed came to die in the most beautiful city in the world,” said taxi driver.
More than 180,000 immigrants arrived by boat in Italy in 2016-the year, which is 18 percent more than in 2015