Louisville, KY – The leader of the black militia that has marched in Louisville several times to protest of the death of Breonna Taylor was arrested on federal charges Thursday for pointing a rifle at police officers the night before the Kentucky Derby.
The incident occurred at about 8:30 p.m. on Sept. 4 as local and federal law enforcement officers were conducting surveillance over a protest in Jefferson Square in downtown Louisville, WDRB reported.
The Louisville Metropolitan Police Department (LMPD) transmitted an alert to officers about “six to eight heavily armed individuals” who were parked near a parking structure on Armory Place.
Court documents showed that two federal officers and three LMPD officers went to watch the group from the top of the Jefferson County Grand Jury Building, WDRB reported.
Charging documents said that when the officers got to the roof and leaned over to see what was happening below, they were blinded by a flashlight.
The affidavit said three officers were affected by a light that was mounted to the end of an AR-15 platform-style rifle that John Fitzgerald Johnson was pointing at them, WDRB reported.
Court documents showed that all of the officers identified the man pointing the rifle at them as Johnson, better known as “Grandmaster Jay” to the members of a black militia called the Not F—king Around Coalition (NFAC).
About 200 NFAC members protested in Louisville on Derby Day, WDRB reported.
“All officers advised they were concerned Johnson might intentionally, or even accidentally, discharge a round at them,” the probable cause affidavit said. “All officers recognized that the distance between themselves and Johnson was well within the effective range of the AR platform style rifle.”
Johnson was also later identified as the man pointing the gun in surveillance videos taken of the area.
The affidavit said that two of the officers were wearing soft body armor and were aware their ballistic gear would not stop a round from an AR-15, WDRB reported.
Court document showed Johnson was arrested on Dec. 3 and charged with “assaulting, resisting, or impeding certain officers or employees.”
He was booked into the Oldham County Detention center, according to WDRB.
September was not the first time that Johnson caused trouble in Louisville.
Three people were shot on July 25 when NFAC held a black militia demonstration in Louisville’s Baxter Park.
The militia members gathered in the park that morning dressed entirely in black, with almost all of the individuals carrying semi-automatic rifles or shotguns, The Sun reported.
Just before 1 p.m., one shot rang out and three people were wounded when one of the militia members accidentally discharged his weapon.
Despite the shootings in Baxter Park, the militia continued its planned march downtown later in the day where they gathered at the steps of Louisville’s Metro Hall and blocked Jefferson Street, WFPL reported.
The militia, clad in black paramilitary gear that included ballistic vests, went through a series of chants led by Johnson and issued the demand that the police officers responsible for the death of Breonna Taylor be arrested.
“You all look like you all need a little help,” Johnson told the crowd. “Not the kind of help that you could sing about. The kind of help that puts people in the hospital. That put people in the ground. Like they’ve been doing us.”
Then Johnson explicitly threatened to burn Louisville if NFAC’s demands were not met.
“I need y’all to repeat after me,” he yelled. “If we don’t get the truth, the whole truth, and the motherf–king truth, we are, going to, burn this motherf–ker down.”