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opening of an investigation for “intentional violence in meetings”

The public prosecutor of Bobigny, Eric Mathais, on April 1, 2022 in court.

What happened to Jérémy Cohen, who was hit by a tram after being attacked on February 16 in Bobigny (Seine-Saint-Denis)? The recent release of a video on social media and political reactions have thrown a spotlight on the investigation into the death of this 31-year-old man.

In the images of great violence broadcast online, a group surrounds a man, roughs him up and repeatedly hits him on the sidewalk. In his flight, the man runs across and is hit by a tram on the tracks.

Faced with emotion, the Bobigny prosecution issued a press release on April 4. The public prosecutor, Eric Mathais, explains that an investigation was first opened for manslaughter. “Quickly, the elements collected made it possible to understand that, a few moments before the accident, the victim had been subjected to violence. » A second investigation for intentional violence in a meeting was therefore opened. “The hypothesis that the victim crossed the tram tracks to escape his attackers was obviously taken into account”, says the prosecutor.

The two procedures are now grouped together: a judicial investigation was indeed opened on March 29 “aiming for the highest possible qualification at this stage of the investigations”, namely intentional violence in a meeting resulting in death without the intention of giving it. In its press release, the prosecution does not mention at this stage any element allowing to retain the anti-Semitic nature of the attack, which can be added at any time during the investigation.

Call for witnesses

On Radio Shalom, Jérémy Cohen’s brother, Raphaël, affirms that his brother’s yarmulke was found on the spot, specifying that he does not know if his brother was wearing it at the time of his attack. His father, Gérald Cohen, evokes his handicapped son, massacred by “young people in an organized gang”, specifying to do “trust in justice”.

The two brothers of the victim launched an appeal for witnesses, by distributing flyers in the mailboxes of the district, which would have made it possible to discover a video entrusted by a witness and, according to them, to relaunch the investigation. According to a police source, the CCTV images are being processed, and a tourist from Dubai is also said to have filmed the scene. He would have sent his video to the International Police Association fifteen days later, which would not have landed in the hands of the investigators before the end of March.

But the time of the investigation is not the political time. Less than a week before the presidential election, several candidates were quick to react. The extreme right in the lead. Eric Zemmour has thus published no less than four tweets on the subject, followed by a forum in Current values, in which he denounces “all the poisonous cocktail of contemporary France” : “Laxity of justice. Media cowardice. Rabid anti-Semitism. Disregard for human life among rabble. » Marine Le Pen also wondered “how to explain the silence on this affair” who “could be an anti-Semitic murder”. Jean-Luc Mélenchon (La France insoumise) meanwhile displayed his ” support “ for the family, and asked ” truth “ and “righteousness”, just like the ecologist Yannick Jadot.

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