French police arrested 54 teenagers Tuesday as violent riots continue across Paris.
The teenagers were arrested for throwing rocks at police cars, starting fires and lobbing smoke bombs into their high school. Riots have taken place across Paris since early February, when police allegedly raped a black man with a baton. (RELATED: Protesters Riot After French Police Allegedly Rape Black Man)
Education minister Najat Vallaud-Belkacem said the government needs to take “extremely serious” action against the rioters.
“The violence, the breakage and the degradations are unacceptable,” Vallaud-Belkacem said in a statement Wednesday. “The government will remain firm in these situations, as today’s interpellations show.”
Four officers are under investigation for assaulting the man identified as “Theo.” One officer is also accused of sodomizing the victim. Hundreds of people have been arrested during clashes between police and rioters.
French President Francois Hollande has called for a calm while demanding the officers are brought to justice.
“Justice must be served,” Hollande said after visiting Theo at the hospital.
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