According to witness testimony, a December 2014 fire that burned down an unfinished, 7-story apartment building in Los Angeles was set by a man who was angry about the death of Mike Brown in Ferguson, MO. The LA Times reports:
The testimony came during a preliminary hearing in the arson case against Dawud Abdulwali, who is accused of starting a fire on Dec. 7, 2014, that charred the unfinished, seven-story complex along the 110 Freeway in downtown L.A.
The witness, Popaul Tshimanga, said he and Abdulwali attended a party in a Hollywood hotel a week later. At the event, the witness recalled, Abdulwali ranted about the August 2014 killing of Michael Brown, an unarmed black man, by a white police officer in Ferguson, Mo.
“He was mad,” Tshimanga said, adding that the defendant said “he burned the building” near the 110 Freeway. “He didn’t like the way the cops were killing black people.”
In addition, the LA Times reports Abdulwali’s former roomate told investigators he once heard the alleged arsonist say, “Cops kill my people. We should go do this, we should go burn some [expletive] down….” The roommate backed away from what he had told police during his testimony Wednesday, claiming he didn’t recall Abdulwali saying such things. Then a prosecutor played an audio tape of the roommate’s original statement.
Video available on You Tube shows the scale of the fire Abdulwali allegedly set. The blaze caused $100 million dollars in damage:
Because it has been 18 months since the fire, many may not recall the context of the time when this alleged arson took place. On Monday November 24th, 2014 St. Louis County prosecuting attorney Robert McCulloch announced that a grand jury had decided no charges would be filed against Officer Darren Wilson for the deadly shooting of Michael Brown. Moments after the decision was announced, Michael Brown’s stepfather was captured on video calling on people to “Burn this bitch down!”
CBS News reported what happened next:
Flames engulfed at least a dozen businesses in Ferguson late Monday and early Tuesday and gunfire kept firefighters at bay once demonstrations turned ugly, despite pleas for peace from Brown’s family and others.
The angry protests spread well beyond Ferguson to dozens of other cities. In Los Angeles protests went on for several days and led to 130 arrests. The LA Times reported some protesters stood in the street chanting, “Free the protesters, kill killer cops.”
The massive LA fire was set about two weeks later on December 7th, 2014. It’s not clear if Abdulwali was reacting to any specific statement or event in Ferguson but, based on the testimony revealed today, he was allegedly reacting to the Mike Brown case which was still playing out in the media.
The media, and especially the progressive media, credulously bought into every claim made about the shooting. Initially they repeated the claim that Brown was shot in the back. The media also spread the “hands up, don’t shoot” claim which became a progressive rallying cry seen at protests, on Capitol Hill and even at major sporting events.
Months later a DOJ report concluded that the decision not to charge Wilson was the right one. His account of the incident matched forensic evidence and the most reliable eyewitness reports. It added that there was no credible evidence “hands up, don’t shoot” had ever happened. But it was too late to stop the anger spread by the earlier, false reports.
Abdulwali has pleaded not guilty to the crime.