Ohio militia leader charged with pointing rifle at Kentucky law officer

Published 6:17 pm Thursday, February 25, 2021

The leader of a pro-gun group that has staged armed protests has been indicted on federal charges for allegedly pointing a rifle at law enforcement while in Kentucky for a demonstration.

John F. Johnson, who goes by “Grandmaster Jay,” was indicted Wednesday on a charge of assaulting, resisting or impeding law enforcement and another charge for brandishing a firearm, The Courier Journal reported. Johnson could face up to 20 years in prison if convicted on the first charge.

Johnson was arrested at his Ohio home in December on the federal charges. A federal complaint said Johnson pointed an AR-style rifle with the flashlight on, which “blinded” several officers on a roof in downtown Louisville.

Johnson’s group, known as the NFAC, has an all-Black membership and often demonstrates against white supremacy and police violence.

The alleged incident occurred the day before the Kentucky Derby, when hundreds of protesters peacefully marched to demand justice in the fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor by Louisville police.

The indictment said Johnson must surrender all his firearms and ammunition to federal authorities.

Johnson is also facing five counts of endangerment in state court in connection with the same actions alleged in the federal case.

An email sent to Johnson’s attorney, a public defender, was not immediately answered Thursday afternoon.