Five days before the first round, the circumstances surrounding the death of Jeremy Cohen arouse the reactions of several presidential candidates, on the far right, on the left, as at the Elysée. On Wednesday February 16, this 31-year-old young man was beaten by young people before running away. While crossing the railway tracks, he was hit by a tram in Bobigny (Seine-Saint-Denis). Victim of cardio-respiratory arrest and head trauma, he died shortly after midnight in hospital.
“We have all been devastated by the scenes that have been made public and I want to express my solidarity and my support for the family of Jeremy Cohen”said Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday April 5, during a trip to Spézet, in Finistère. “Justice must pass, complete clarity must be made”he continued, pointing out that“an investigation has been opened” and “justice conducts its work independently”. The candidate president wished “that the investigation be as fast as possible to provide answers” to the young man’s family.
Emmanuel Macron’s cabinet had already called on Monday April 4, at his request, the parents of this young man of the Jewish faith. The president’s cabinet had the mother and then the father of the victim on the phone, “to send them a message of compassion and let them know that, in respect for the independence of justice, all means of investigation will be implemented to identify the perpetrators of this attack and shed light on this case »said the Elysée on Tuesday, confirming information from the Figaro.
His office “asked the Minister of Justice to follow closely and keep the president personally informed”said the Elysée.
“Media and political omerta”
Several other candidates for the Elysée have claimed all the light on this tragedy. Through a tweet, Valérie Pécresse, the Republican candidate, clocked in monday a “despicable lynching, which could be anti-Semitic in nature”and pleaded for a “zero impunity against barbarians”.
Far-right candidate Marine Le Pen (National Rally) spoke on Monday in a tweet what “could be an anti-Semitic murder”, then spoke on tuesday on France Inter from a “criminal act”. “So why did you accidentally hide it, that’s a real question” less than a week before the first round of the presidential election, she continued, wondering “if we don’t need a parliamentary inquiry”.
His far-right rival Eric Zemmour (Reconquest!) also tweeted about it several times on Monday. In one of his messages, he wondered: “Did he die to escape scum? Did he die because he was a Jew? Why is this case hushed up? ».
If the possibly anti-Semitic nature of the facts was not mentioned by the Bobigny prosecutor’s office, an investigation for “intentional violence in meetings” was opened at the end of March, announced the prosecutor of Bobigny, Monday, April 4.
Guest of the 20 hour newspaper of TF1 Monday evening, the candidate of Reconquest! also announced that its “first symbolic gesture”if elected, will be to visit the family of Jeremy Cohen, again denouncing on this occasion a “media and political omerta”.
Asked if the far-right candidate Eric Zemmour was the first to mention these facts, Mr. Macron replied on Tuesday: “There are human tragedies every day, they must not give rise to political manipulation, whatever it may be. »
“Light must be shed”
The far-left candidate Nathalie Arthaud (Lutte Ouvrière) denounced “an instrumentalization that is made by Eric Zemmour of this drama”accusing him of wanting to put “all the violence of society on the back of immigration”.
For Jean-Luc Mélenchon, the candidate of La France insoumise, “The question we have to ask ourselves is why the families have to carry out the surveys; normally it’s the police”. “All light must be shed” on a “possible anti-Semitic motivation” who, “if so, must be clearly established” so that authors can be “prosecuted and sentenced”he said on Sud Radio.
The communist candidate, Fabien Roussel, also wanted all the light to be shed, stressing that “Anti-Semitism is a real poison in our Republic”. For Yannick Jadot, an anti-Semitic attack “would be absolutely abominable”. “I heard the despair of this family, who themselves tried to find out the truth, and who did not get much help”said the environmental candidate on BFM-TV / RMC.
“No sure and certain answers”
“For the moment, no, we have no tangible proof. It would be useless, misleading, even ineffective, to go and cry out against the anti-Semitic act today.reacted Tuesday on RMC, the lawyer of the family, Franck Serfati. “However, there are a number of facts. A yarmulke was found near the body and was returned by law enforcement to the family. Was he walking around with a yarmulke on his head? For the moment, the question arises, but we do not have sure and certain answers »he said again.
Monday evening, the young man’s father had explained on BFM-TV to have “asked Eric Zemmour if he could [les] assist in the investigation”. “He tried to help us so that the investigation was not closed or stifled”he added.
A first investigation had been opened for manslaughter, to determine the circumstances of the death of Jeremy Cohen. “The hypothesis that the victim crossed the tram tracks to escape his attackers was naturally taken into account”, underlined the public prosecutor of Bobigny, Eric Mathais, in his press release. On March 29, a judicial investigation was opened by the head of “willful violence in meetings resulting in death without intention to give it”continued the prosecutor.