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Grandmaster Jay indicted by grand jury, faces 20 years in prison

Published: Oct. 20, 2021 at 7:55 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - A grand jury has indicted the leader of an armed, self-proclaimed militia that protested in Louisville during the 2020 riots on new state charges, accused of pointing an assault rifle at officers and a federal agent on the roof of a downtown Louisville building last September.

Johnson claimed he didn’t realize it was officers until he turned on the light on top of his rifle.

The Not F******* Around Coalition, or NFAC, is led by John Fitzgerald Johnson, better known as Grandmaster Jay. A grand jury indicted him on Wednesday on five counts of wanton endangerment in the first degree, a felony.

Johnson is also facing federal charges, including one count of assaulting, resisting, or impeding officers and one count of brandishing a firearm in connection with a violent crime. Johnson faces a minimum of three years in prison and a maximum of 27 years for the federal charges.

“He said that he was concerned about kids shooting paintballs off the roof,” Sgt. Chris Lane of the FBI Public Corruption and Civil Rights Task Force said during a previous court hearing. “Our response was, ‘Is it a good idea to point rifles at kids?’ He said, ‘No, probably not.’”

This is not Johnson’s first run-in with the law. WAVE 3 News Troubleshooters obtained Johnson’s military records for a previous investigation using the Freedom of Information Act. It revealed that Johnson had been demoted and discharged from the United States Army not once, but twice. In both cases, Johnson received an “other than honorable discharge.”

Johnson worked as a Single Channel Radio Operator and a Personnel Administration Specialist. There are numerous military police records from that period that show multiple arrests.

Johnson was arrested and charged with punching a woman in the face with a closed fist in March 1995. Security guards escorted him out of a nightclub, according to the report, who waited for him at the entrance. Johnson then reportedly took a shotgun from his car’s trunk, pointed it at them, and “told them he was going to kill them.” The guards then ran inside the club and shut the door in fear of their lives.

The bond for Johnson after that arrest was set at $85,523.

During his military career, he was arrested for allegedly altering a public document, making a false official statement, larceny of government property, impersonating an officer, trespassing on a military installation, communicating threats, and carrying a concealed weapon on post.

According to another military report, Johnson reached into his trunk for a Bushmaster rifle during an argument with his wife. Johnson allegedly threatened to kill his wife and her platoon sergeant, who was also present, as she tried to stop him.

Johnson was also chastised in the music industry for attempting to pass DJ Jazzy Jeff’s music off as his own during a DJing machine commercial.

“Do you know me?” Johnson says in the video. “If you don’t, well you’re about to.”

The music Johnson was playing on the machine was taken from a DJ Jazzy Jeff live performance.

“I don’t care if you are the worst DJ in the world ... I’ll give you credit,” DJ Jazzy Jeff wrote in an Instagram post. “JUST DONT FAKE IT.”

Johnson is scheduled to appear in court on Oct. 25 to face the wanton endangerment charges.

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