Luigi Calabresi (Rome, 14 November 1937 – Milan, 17 May 1972), was a police officer and Italian State Police official in Milan, Italy. His 1972 murder triggered a wave of political violence.
Calabresi was born into a middle-class Roman family. His father was a wine and oil merchant. He attended the classical secondary school San Leone Magno and graduated from university with a law degree in 1964 with a thesis on the Sicilian mafia. He chose to enter the police over a career as an attorney and was ultimately assigned to Milan.
Accused by the far-left Lotta Continua of being responsible for the death of anarchistGiuseppe Pinelli (born in 1928) in a police station where he was an officer, despite all charges being dropped against him, Calabresi was shot in the street and murdered in Milan on 17 May 1972 on his way to work. He was deputy leader of the political section of the Milan office of the Italian State Police when he was murdered. Calabresi's murder inaugurated an era of political violence by left and right in Italy.
After many years the perpetrators of Calabresi's murder were identified, including Adriano Sofri, leader of Lotta Continua, along with members Ovidio Bompressi and Giorgio Pietrostefani, who were all convicted and sentenced to long prison terms after a highly contentious trial. Lotta Continua disbanded in 1976..