Violent riots broke out in France over the alleged police rape of a black man over the weekend.
Almost 2,000 people marched through the streets in a small Paris suburb to protest the alleged police brutality, reports Fox 4 KC.
The protest quickly turned violent when a hundred protesters began vandalizing businesses and setting cars on fire. They also smashed in windows and attacked police officers. Thirty-seven people were eventually arrested, French police said.
The mayor asked residents to cease their violence.
“Several vehicles, including a media truck, were set on fire and police officers had to intervene to rescue a young child trapped in a burning vehicle,” a police statement said. Law enforcement officers used tear gas after rioters began throwing objects at them.
Protesters were upset over the alleged police rape of a 22-year-old man identified as Theo. Theo maintained he was sodomized with a police baton during his arrest on Feb. 2. One officer is being investigated for the alleged assault while three others are being investigated for violence, according to the French Interior Ministry.
A lawyer for the officer argued that the rape was an accident. The baton went inside Theo’s backside by accident, the lawyer argued. The injuries were so severe that Theo needed surgery.
People have been protesting for the past week, and some people set fire to more property last Tuesday. French President Francois Hollande dropped by Theo’s hospital room in an attempt to ease the anger surrounding the case.
“I call to calm my city because I love it very much. Violence is not the way to support me. Justice will do its job,” Theo said as he laid in his hospital bed.