Urged by presidential candidates, French police investigate death of disabled Jewish man | The Jewish Press – JewishPress.com | David Israel | 4 Nisan 5782 – April 5, 2022


Photo credit: Twitter screenshot

Jeremy Cohen, alleged victim of an anti-Semitic murder.

On Monday, Jewish presidential candidate Eric Zammour tweeted: “Why is no media, no politician, no member of government talking about the death of Jeremy Cohen, beaten up by thugs?

Jeremy Cohen was crushed to death by a tram in Bobigny, a town in the northeast suburb of Paris, shortly before 8 p.m. on February 16, 2022. Video recently posted on social media shows that he was beaten by several individuals and was trying to escape before he died. Suffering from cardiorespiratory arrest and head trauma, he died shortly after midnight in hospital – in what was believed to be an accident. But the reality looks quite different. The family of the young man, who distributed leaflets inviting witnesses to come forward, discovered videos that had been taken by witnesses that evening. Warning: the image is very graphic.

Relatives of the deceased told the story on a Saturday night show on Radio Shalom Paris, a community radio station broadcasting Jewish programming. They revealed that one of the videos, recorded by a tourist from Dubai and recently relayed on social networks, shows that the young man was beaten up by several individuals before fleeing and being run over by the tram. The video would have been transmitted over the weekend to the IGPN (General Inspectorate of the National Police) for judicial investigation.

The hashtag #JeremyCohen was trending on Twitter all day Monday. Zammour’s right-wing rival, the presidential candidate of the National Rally Marine Le Pen, deplored in a tweet “the silence on this affair”, and wondered if it was “an anti-Semitic murder”.

Zammour hammered home the message relentlessly: “The images of Jeremy Cohen’s death are chilling. The death of yet another of our children and the deafening silence on the facts for two months revolt me. Did he die fleeing the scum? Did he die because he was Jewish? Why is this case hushed up?

Another candidate, environmentalist Yannick Jadot, tweeted: “All light must be shed on the circumstances of the death of Jérémy Cohen, his attack before he was hit by a tram in Bobigny.” And Jean-Luc Mélenchon, founder and presidential candidate of La France Insoumise (“La France insoumise”, or “France in revolt”) also insisted: “All the light must be shed”.

That same day, at 4 p.m., whether it was because popular journalist-turned-politician Zammour and his right-wing competitors had shed so much unexpected light on the case, or because the authorities had finally decided to investigate the case , the Bobigny public prosecutor’s office published a press release stating: “Following the death of a young man knocked down by a tram in Bobigny on February 17, 2022 (they had moved away for a day – DI), an investigation was opened at Bobigny police station initially for manslaughter.”

The daily Le Figaro quoted a source close to the investigation who revealed that the police had ignored what they considered to be a trivial passenger accident because the cameras on the public highway did not work that day.

However, according to the prosecutor’s office, “the elements collected quickly revealed that a few moments before the accident, the victim had been subjected to violence. A second investigation was opened for intentional violence. … The two investigations were carried out in parallel. The he hypothesis that the victim would have crossed the tramway tracks to escape his assailants was naturally taken into account.

“Following various contacts and an appointment with the lawyers of the victim’s family… it was decided to combine the two proceedings in a single legal file and to open, on March 29, 2022 ( if we are to believe – DI), judicial information aimed at the best possible quality at this stage of the investigation: intentional violence resulting in an unintentional death, ”concludes the press release from the Bobigny prosecution.

The investigation is now continuing under the authority of an investigating judge and has been entrusted to the judicial police of Seine-Saint-Denis.

Was Jeremy Cohen’s attack anti-Semitic as a surprising number of right-wing presidential candidates claim? In its press release, the Bobigny prosecutor’s office does not mention the victim’s religious affiliation. A French Jew murdered by what appears from the video to be a gang of young Arabs supports the ideological anti-foreign line of everyone to the right of President Emmanuel Macron, who is expected to win the next election unless a sordid, game-changing affair erupts and threatens his chances.

Did the attackers know their victim was Jewish? His brother told Radio Shalom: “He had a yarmulke but I was not with him when it happened. I can’t tell you if he wore it or not.

According to Jeremy Cohen’s family, the victim’s white yarmulke was found by investigators at the scene. “Our concern is to convince and to move forward with the judicial authority without delay,” said family lawyer Franck Serfati, adding: “The Cohen family is not here to cry over the anti-Semitism This could distort the facts and constitute prejudice, but it cannot be ruled out for the moment that anti-Semitism is the aggravating factor.


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