Louisville, KY – Three people were shot on Saturday during a black militia demonstration in Louisville’s Baxter Park by a group called the “Not F–king Around Coalition” (NFAC).
The militia members gathered early in the day on July 25, 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.
Police said all three of the people wounded were part of NFAC, the Courier Journal reported.
Louisville Police Spokesman Lamont Washington said on Sunday that one of the people had a minor injury, one was in serious-but-stable condition, and the third was in the Intensive Care Unit but expected to survive.
Police have not said what kind of weapon it was or what happened to lead to the discharge, the Courier Journal reported.
The all Black armed Militia known as NFAC is in Kentucky protesting police but one of them accidentally fired and hit three other NFAC members who are now in non-life threatening condition after emergency services including police came in to save them… pic.twitter.com/7jU9waT9ME
— Robby Starbuck (@robbystarbuck) July 25, 2020
♦️#NFAC IS MOBILIZING ♦️
REMEMBER THE MILITIA THAT MET IN STONE MOUNTAIN GA ON THE 4TH OF JULY CLAIMING THAT THEY WERE GOING TO TAKE TEXAS… YEA, THOSE GUYS
— Kimona (@KimonaQ2) July 24, 2020
NFAC announced a week earlier that it would be protesting the death of Breonna Taylor when Louisville police were executing a no-knock warrant on her home in connection with a drug investigation.
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 and issued the demand that the police officers responsible for the death of Breonna Taylor be arrested.
John Fitzgerald “Grandmaster Jay” Johnson, the leader of NFAC, addressed his formation of militia and other protesters gathered around the steps and issued threats of violence, WFPL reported.
— Hayes Gardner (@HayesGardner) July 25, 2020
“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 he demanded accountability for the police department and transparency for the public with regard to the investigation of Taylor’s death, WFPL reported.
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.”
J.J. MacNab, an expert on extremism from George Washington University, told WFPL that extremist groups frequently use ultimatums as a tactic but said Johnson’s approach was more of a direct threat.
“There’s usually all these extra little catch phrases in the middle. But this was much more in your face,” MacNab said. “He had a list of demands, and he had his private army beside him to backup those demands, that if he didn’t get what he wanted he would be effectively unleashing his private army onto Louisville.”
Shameka Parrish-Wright, co-chair of the Kentucky Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression, said she was okay with NFAC’s approach, WFPL reported.
“I think police threaten people every day,” Parrish-Wright said. “I think the people have terrorized people and made people feel unsafe. So if this makes people wake up, if it makes them pay more attention, I think that’s great.”
Black Lives Matter Louisville did not oppose the threatened use of force by NFAC, WFPL reported.
However, Black Lives Matter Louisville co-founder Chantal Helm said she didn’t appreciate groups coming in from out of town without working with local groups.
“[Johnson] really needs to mind his own business,” Helm said. “If he’s down from Georgia he needs to do work down there. There is a proper protocol in Black resistance work, and that was a show that was put on today.”
Johnson’s group became nationally-known after they marched at the Stone Mountain Confederate Memorial in Georgia on July 4 and demanded that the carving known as the “granddaddy of all Confederate monuments” be removed, ABC News reported.
Videos posted to social media showed armed militia members walking down the middle of roadways and approaching vehicles stuck in the traffic they’d created.
The monument is Georgia’s most visited tourist attraction with about 4 million visitors annually, ABC News reported.
“The United States has allowed it to exist but it’s become a pain point,” Johnson said on Independence Day. “It’s gotten to the point where it’s more so fuel to the fire than it does to remind folks of their heritage. And of course, there are both sides to that, but I do believe that this particular monument is the pink elephant in the room.”
Georgia law, however, says that “the memorial to the heroes of the Confederate States of America graven upon the face of Stone Mountain shall never be altered, removed, concealed, or obscured in any fashion,” ABC News reported.