The family of a young French-Jewish man who was killed by a tram have demanded police reopen the investigation into his death amid claims he was fleeing an antisemitic attack.
Jeremy Cohen was run down in the Paris suburb of Bobigny in February.The death was reported as an accident at the time.
But in a video that has surfaced on social media, he is rounded upon and pushed by a group of youths on the street just seconds before he died.
The shocking clip shows him hurrying away before he was hit by the tram which he appears not to have seen. He is believed to have been wearing a kippah at the time of the attack, although it cannot be seen clearly in the video clip.
The victim's brother Raphael Cohen told French Jewish station Radio Shalom: “Police told us that they closed the investigation because they had no additional information and cameras had delivered no clear footage.”
The family were forced to ask witnesses in the neighbourhood to come forward by putting messages in their mail boxes.The appeal prompted one resident to provide the video showing the attack, while other neighbours provided witness testimony.
Calling on investigators to work with the family, Raphael Cohen said: ”We are asking for help to shed light on this case. We want to work with you, so we can find out the truth.”
The victim’s father Gerald Cohen said: “Why is the family the one who needs to bring the evidence to police investigators?“If we hadn’t done that we wouldn’t have known the truth.“We want justice for our son Jeremy!”
Taking up the case, centre-right MP Eric Ciotti tweeted: “An investigation should be opened so we can shed light on the antisemitic nature of the attack.” The case has gained national attention after a tweet from Eric Zemmour, the far-right Jewish presidential candidate.
He wrote: “Why aren’t the media reporting on this, why has no politician, or member of the government mentioned the death of Jeremy Cohen, who was hit by a group of thugs?"He also tweeted: "The death of yet another of our children and the deafening silence on the facts for two months revolt me."Did he die to escape scum? Did he die because he was a Jew? Why is this case hushed up?"
Le 16 février, #JeremyCohen, un jeune homme de 19 ans se fait tabasser à #Bobigny par une bande de voyous. Il tente de s’échapper, court, traverse la rue et se fait percuter par un tramway. Depuis le 16 février, personne ne parle de sa mort. Pourquoi ?— Eric Zemmour (@ZemmourEric) April 4, 2022