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‘Supreme commander’ of so-called Black militia accused of pointing rifle at cops during Louisville protest

New York Daily News logo New York Daily News 12/3/2020 Nelson Oliveira

The leader of a self-described Black militia was busted on federal charges Thursday after authorities said he was caught on camera pointing a rifle at officers during a summer protest in Louisville.

John Johnson, who’s also known as “Grandmaster Jay,” was part of a group of armed protesters who gathered in the city’s Jefferson Square Park on Sept. 4 for what turned out to be a tense night of demonstrations.

Some of the officers who were conducting surveillance from a roof in the area were “blinded by a light” that was later found to be a flashlight mounted to the suspect’s “AR platform style rifle,” according to the FBI.

a group of people on a sidewalk: John Johnson points gun at officers in Louisville, Kentucky, on Sept. 4, 2020. © Provided by New York Daily News John Johnson points gun at officers in Louisville, Kentucky, on Sept. 4, 2020.

John Johnson points gun at officers in Louisville, Kentucky, on Sept. 4, 2020. (FBI/)

“All officers advised they were concerned Johnson might intentionally, or even accidentally, discharge a round at them,” the agency’s Louisville division said in a statement to the Daily News.

Surveillance images released Thursday show Johnson aiming his gun at a building. The suspect did not fire the weapon, but authorities said his actions put officers’ lives at risk.

The man calls himself the “supreme commander” of an all-Black group known as NFAC, or Not F---ing Around Coalition, a self-proclaimed militia with hundreds of members. The Ohio resident is also popular on YouTube, where his channel has more than 50,000 subscribers.

Authorities said Johnson knew exactly who he was pointing his rifle at because at least two officers with the Louisville Metropolitan Police Department were wearing body armor with a semi-reflective placard clearly identifying them, according to the FBI.

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None of the officers had drawn their handguns and only one had a rifle that night, though he did not point it at Johnson or any of the NFAC members at the scene, the agency said.

The criminal complaint says the suspect “forcibly assaulted, resisted, opposed, impeded, intimidated, and interfered with federally deputized task force officers” when he aimed a rifle at them. The charge is punishable by up to 20 years in federal prison.

a man standing in front of a building: John Johnson © Oldham County Jail, Kentucky John Johnson

John Johnson (Oldham County Jail, Kentucky/)

“The FBI respects the rights of individuals to peacefully exercise their First Amendment rights,” FBI Special Agent in Charge James Robert Brown, Jr. said in a statement.

“Our mission of protecting the American people and upholding the Constitution is dual and simultaneous, not contradictory,” he said. “Accordingly, we are committed to investigating violent behavior and those who are exploiting legitimate, peaceful protests and engaging in violations of federal law.”

Johnson was being held without bond Thursday at the Oldham County Jail.

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