Jewish man killed by tram in Paris was fleeing 'anti-Semitic attack'
Jewish man was run over and killed by a tram in Paris while fleeing ‘anti-Semitic attack’: Family release footage of victim’s last moments as politicians condemn ‘scum’ who chased him
- Jeremy Cohen, 31, was run over by a tram in Bobigny on February 16 near Paris
- Investigators initially said his death was merely a road traffic accident
- An appeal by his family found video showing he was trying to flee an attack
- It emerged days before French election, sparking outrage over the police probe
A Jewish man who was killed in February after he was run over by a tram in France was trying to flee an anti-Semitic attack, his family have claimed.
Newly-emerged footage shows Jeremy Cohen, 31, being subjected to a vicious assault by a gang on the streets of Bobigny in the suburbs of Paris on February 16.
While trying to flee, he ran into the path of an oncoming tram, suffering major head trauma and heart failure and he died hours later in hospital in what police initially dismissed as an accident.
Cohen’s family then decided to carry out their own inquiry, handing out flyers and appealing for witnesses and video from the scene.
Eventually, footage taken from a nearby window by a tourist from Dubai was shared with the family, showing the circumstances leading to his death.
Newly-emerged footage shows a large group gathered on the street of Bobigny beating up Jeremy Cohen on February 16 moments before his death
The 31-year-old (pictured centre) was trying to flee an attack when he ran into the path of a tram, his family claim
His father Gerald and brother Rafael claimed the video had been shared with police but the investigation was stalling again, and now they have gone public to raise awareness.
The footage has emerged just days before the first round of the French presidential elections, and far-right candidates Marine Le Pen and Eric Zemmour, currently trailing at second and fourth in the polls respectively, have slammed the horrific scenes.
They have suggested authorities have tried to cover-up what could be an ‘anti-Semitic murder’.
Cohen’s family said he died while wearing his kippah and believe this provoked the vile assault.
Gerald told Radio Shalom: ‘Jeremy’s death is linked to an attack of which he was the victim — by a gang of young people immediately before being hit.’
Cohen’s family then decided to carry out their own inquiry, handing out flyers and appealing for witnesses and video from the scene
Cohen is seen running away from the gang on to the road to escape the attack, before running into a tram
Meanwhile Rafael told Channel 12: ‘A few days after my brother died, we were told that the case was being looked at as a traffic accident rather than an attack before they even watched video footage from the train and other evidentiary material.’
The new footage has sparked outrage with the hashtag #JeremyCohen going viral in France.
Zemmour, who is Jewish, said: ‘The images of Jeremy Cohen’s death are chilling. The death of yet another one of our children and the deafening silence on the facts for two months revolts me.
‘Did he die while escaping those scum? Did he die because he was Jewish? Why is this case being hushed up?’
Jewish woman Sarah Halimi, pictured, was killed and thrown from her balcony by Kobili Traore in April 2017
Meanwhile Marine Le Pen said: ‘In February, Jeremy Cohen was killed, run over by a tram while fleeing a gang beating him up.
‘What was presented as an accident could be an anti-Semitic murder. How can you explain the silence on this affair and its motivations?’
French-Jewish lawmaker Meyer Habib said the incident was ‘heartbreaking’ and urged the interior minister to investigate.
He said: ‘The media had previously reported a pedestrian being run over, but It seems like the real circumstances of Jeremy Cohen’s death, a 31-year-old Jew, were much more dramatic.
‘The victim, who according to all witnesses, was wearing a kippah on his head, tried to escape, as the video clearly shows, from a group of bullies who attacked him. During his escape, he failed to see the tram coming toward him.
‘The images are heart-breaking. I have turned to Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin, who has promised me that the authorities are taking this case very seriously and that it is under the examination of the Justice Ministry.’
Habib noted the timing of the video, not only before the election but also on the anniversary of the high-profile anti-Semitic killing of Sarah Halimi.
French judges ruled Kobili Traore’s heavy cannabis use caused a ‘delirious fit’ while carrying out the killing and was therefore not mentally fit to stand trial
He added: ‘With only a week remaining until the first round of the presidential election, it seems like a new case of covert antisemitism is gaining momentum. In a sad coincidence, we mark today five years since the horrible murder of Sarah Halimi.’
Prosecutors said yesterday they are investigating Cohen’s death and the circumstances surrounding it.
They said the probe was launched in late March and are looking into the ‘intentional violence’ that could have caused an ‘involuntary homicide’.
But they did not mention anti-Semitism, fuelling fears that the case will be dismissed without regard for its possible racist motivation, similar to the Halimi case.
In April 2017, she was thrown to her death from the third story of her building by a man shouting Allahu Akbar.
Kobili Traore was also alleged to have then shouted: ‘I have killed the devil.’
But a court later ruled he could not stand trial because he was psychotic from cannabis at the time, sparking major protests.
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