Jury convicts militia leader of pointing rifle at police

A federal jury found John F. Johnson, who goes by “Grandmaster Jay,” guilty of charges linked to protests two years ago.

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — The leader of a pro-gun group that has staged armed protests has been convicted of pointing a rifle at law enforcement while in Kentucky for a demonstration, officials said.

A federal jury found John F. Johnson, who goes by “Grandmaster Jay,” guilty on Friday on charges of assaulting, resisting or impeding law enforcement and brandishing a firearm during racial justice protests two years ago, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said Sunday in a statement.

A federal jury found John F. Johnson, who goes by “Grandmaster Jay,” guilty on Friday on charges of assaulting, resisting or impeding law enforcement and brandishing a firearm during racial justice protests two years ago. (Photo: AdobeStock)

Court documents and evidence presented during the weeklong trial said Johnson pointed an AR-15 platform rifle and tactical flashlight at two federally deputized officers on a roof in downtown Louisville, the statement said. 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.

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

Johnson, 59, of Ohio faces at least seven years in prison when he is sentenced on Aug. 22, the statement said.

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