Posted on December 7, 2020

Founder of All-Black Armed Activist Group Faces Federal Charge

Amir Vera and Rebekah Riess, CNN, December 4, 2020

The founder of an all-Black armed activist group is facing a federal charge after the FBI alleges he aimed a rifle at federally deputized task force officers during a September rally in Louisville, Kentucky.

FBI agents arrested John Fitzgerald Johnson, the founder of the Not F**king Around Coalition who is also known as Grand Master Jay, Thursday at his home. {snip}

{snip} If convicted, Johnson faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison.

Officers with the FBI, Louisville police and the Secret Service were watching demonstrators September 4 at Jefferson Square Park during a protest related to the killing of Breonna Taylor, the FBI said in a news release. A probable cause affidavit states that a Louisville Metro Police Department radio transmission told officers a group of “six to eight heavily armed individuals” were near a parking garage.

Police and task force officers (TFOs) went to the roof of the Jefferson County Grand Jury building to watch the people when some of the officers were blinded by a light, according to the federal complaint. They determined the light was coming from a flashlight mounted to “an AR platform style rifle” that Johnson was aiming at them, it alleges, noting officers recognized Johnson after seeing him earlier in the day and previously in videos he’d posted on social media.


After Johnson raised and aimed his rifle, two officers backed away from the roof edge, the complaint states. {snip}

A surveillance video reviewed by the FBI shows Johnson at street level “shouldering his rifle and aiming the rifle at the officers on the Jefferson County Grand Jury Building,” the complaint states. {snip}


Johnson founded the NFAC in 2017. The all-Black, Atlanta-based group has grown in size amid a summer of protests against violence on Black people, including deaths at the hands of police.