Looks like the Not F***ing Around Coalition may have a new honorary member, because the U.S. Attorney in Louisville certainly isn’t ****ing around either. U.S. Attorney Russell Coleman is bringing federal charges against Grandmaster Jay, aka John Fitzgerald Johnson, the self-proclaimed leader of the black militia, for allegedly pointing a gun at police officers while leading a protest march through downtown Louisville back in September on September 4th.
Federal investigators allege that the incident started out when officers were notified of several heavily armed individuals who were parked on Armory Place next to a parking garage. The officers, along with the federal agents, made their way to the roof of the Jefferson County Grand Jury Building, where they watched over Armory Place to monitor the heavily armed individuals, according to the court documents.
When the officers arrived to the rooftop, a short time later a few of them reported they were blinded by a light, which they determined was a “flashlight mounted to the rifle being aimed at them by Johnson.”
Two of the officer said they heard one of them announce that Johnson had aimed his rifle at them as they were on the roof. According to the court documents, two of the officers said they recognized Johnson from their previous encounter with him earlier in the day when the NFAC was at G.G. Moore Park.
According to a criminal complaint filed by FBI agent Daniel McNally, surveillance cameras in the downtown area captured the head of the NFAC pointing his rifle at officers on top of the Grand Jury Building.
Was Johnson aware that law enforcement officers were on the roof of the building when he pointed his rifle in their direction? McNally’s affidavit certainly implies that’s the case, noting that the NFAC leader had been told in briefings with local police that “officers would be on rooftops of surrounding buildings” and that a major with the Louisville Metro Police Department had “admonished Johnson not not point weapons at the officers as it would be perceived as a threat.”
The FBI agent’s affidavit also goes into quite a bit of detail about Johnson’s past, portraying him as a man with a history of “making threatening statements and then using a rifle or long gun to threaten various individuals, including women and his wife.”
The 57-year old leader of the NFAC was arrested in 1995 for striking a woman in the face and pointing a shotgun at a man who tried to intervene, and the FBI took him in to custody in 2003 after Johnson allegedly threatened to kill his wife and her platoon sergeant during a ceremony at Fort Bragg.
The FBI report also alleges that Johnson was booted from the army in 1999 after a little more than a year of active service; he was released “under other than honorable conditions” and demoted to private in lieu of a court martial. Somehow Johnson was able to re-enlist in the army a few years later, but in 2005 was classified as AWOL and then a deserter. Johnson was taken into custody by military police in 2006, and he was once again allowed to leave the army under less than honorable conditions and with a demotion in rank in lieu of a court martial.
The affidavit also reveals that the FBI had been keeping an eye on Johnson and the NFAC since late May of this year, when Johnson proclaimed in a series of YouTube videos that people should “assault police officers and then remove the officers’ body cameras to conceal footage of them assaulting officers” and that “the only way to stop police violence is to identify and locate the homes of police, burn the houses to the ground, kill the officer, their family members, and associates.”
In his statement announcing the charges against Johnson, U.S. Attorney Russell Coleman declared that “in Kentucky we revere our First and Second Amendment freedoms, not foolishness which puts police and protesters at grave risk.” Johnson could face up to 20 years in a federal prison if convicted of pointing his rifle at officers, so clearly the Justice Department isn’t f***ing around in their pursuit of the NFAC leader.