US man imprisoned for starting huge LA blaze over police killings

LOS ANGELES (AFP) – A 58-year-old man who started a massive fire in Los Angeles in anger over police killings of African-Americans was sentenced to 15 years in prison on Monday following a plea deal.

Dawud Abdulwali admitted to starting the December 2014 blaze at the unfinished seven-storey downtown Da Vinci apartment complex, causing damages in excess of $100 million, the prosecutor s office said.

No one was injured in the spectacular fire that charred the complex that was being built along a freeway.

According to witness testimony, Abdulwali bragged about setting the fire as a response to protests that swept the town of Ferguson, in Missouri, following the shooting of a black teenager and other highly publicized cases of alleged police misconduct toward African-Americans.

Michael Brown s 2014 shooting in Ferguson by a white police officer sparked weeks of unrest and ignited a national debate about race relations and law enforcement in the United States.