The United States government accuses John “Grandmaster Jay” Johnson of assaulting, resisting, or impeding officers and brandishing a firearm in connection with a violent crime.
Grandmaster Jay is the leader of the Black nationalist Not F###### Around Coalition. Prosecutors assert Johnson pointed an assault rifle at police officers and a federal agent during Justice for Breonna Taylor protests in September 2020.
According to Wave3.com, Grandmaster Jay’s federal trial in Kentucky began this week. So far, the jury heard opening statements from the prosecution and defense. The first four witnesses in the case also testified.
The defense team claims Grandmaster Jay was unaware the individuals were law enforcement officers until he turned on the light on top of his rifle. Prosecutors claim to have video evidence to prove Jay’s actions were intentional.
The Not F###### Around Coalition began in 2017. The group made national headlines in May 2020 for its involvement in demonstrations in Georgia over the murder of 25-year-old African-American Ahmaud Arbery at the hands of three white men.
On July 4 that same year, NFAC members marched through Georgia’s Stone Mountain Park. The location was once considered a “sacred site” for the Ku Klux Klan. A large sculpture of three Confederate leaders – President Jefferson Davis, General Robert E. Lee, and General Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson – is engraved on the side of Stone Mountain.
“Our initial goal was to have a formation of our militia in Stone Mountain to send a message that as long as you’re abolishing all these statues across the country, what about this one?” Grand Master Jay told Newsweek in July 2020.