French Interior Minister Gerald Darmnin announced on Sunday that 45,000 police were being deployed as the riots over the police shooting of a teenager continued over the weekend, Reuters reported.
Since the unrest began last Tuesday, the Interior Ministry said on Friday that over half of last week’s 2,400 arrests occurred on Friday, with 1,311 rioters arrested. The majority of those arrested were teenagers between 13 and 17, NBC News reported.
The violent riots were prompted by the death of a 17-year-old boy named Nahel, who was shot by a police officer while running a red light in the Paris suburb of Nanterre.
The officer said he was afraid that someone might get hit by Nahel’s car, according to prosecutor Pascal Prache. Prache said last Thursday that the officer has been charged with voluntary homicide and is being held in custody.
In an interview with BFM TV on Sunday, Nahel’s grandmother called for an end to the nationwide riots, saying that the rioters are only using her grandson’s death as an excuse to cause violence, according to Reuters.
Despite President Emmanuel Macron’s appeals to parents to keep their children off of the streets, clashes between police and the young rioters continued into the weekend.
Nearly 90 arrests were made in Marseille after Mayor Benoît Payan call on the government to dispatch additional law enforcement to the southern port city where rioters were setting fire to barricades and hurling objects at police.
Another 719 arrests were made on Saturday following Nahel’s funeral in Nanterre according to the Interior Ministry.
By Monday, the riots eased somewhat with the deployment of additional police as well as armored vehicles and special forces, with the number of arrests dropping to 157, Bloomberg reported.
By Monday, the total number of arrests jumped to 3,200. The average age of those arrested is 17, according to the Interior Ministry.