Federal trial begins for NFAC leader Grandmaster Jay
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - A jury heard opening statements and the first four witnesses on day one of Grandmaster Jay’s federal trial.
John Johnson, the leader of an armed, self-proclaimed militia, is accused of pointing an assault rifle at officers and a federal agent during protests in September 2020.
Johnson was indicted back in October 2021 on federal charges of assaulting, resisting, or impeding officers and brandishing a firearm in connection with a violent crime.
The incident occurred during one of Johnson’s multiple visits into Louisville as the leader of the Not F****** Around Coalition, or NFAC, during protests seeking justice for Breonna Taylor back in 2020.
Johnson’s defense team claimed he didn’t realize it was officers until he turned on the light on top of his rifle.
During opening statements Tuesday, prosecutors argued there’s no way Johnson didn’t know who was on that roof, and they were going to prove it with video evidence.
Federal prosecutors are relying heavily on video from a city camera. It appears to show Johnson pointing a gun with a flashlight at the top of a building where officers were standing.
The first witness, Aubrey Gregory, was the LMPD special operations coordinator during the time of the protests. He gave lengthy testimony about his conversations with Grandmaster Jay leading up to his first visit in July.
Gregory described all the conversations as respectful as the two laid out guidelines like marching routes and firearm safety. He said he told Johnson that there would be armed officers on top of buildings. Gregory claimed Johnson seemed to understand all the guidelines.
Other witnesses included an FBI agent, member of the FBI task force, and a firearms examiner.
Johnson is expected to testify at some point during the trial. The trial will likely carry into the following week, with closing arguments expected on Tuesday.
If convicted, Johnson could face up to 27 years in federal prison.
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