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Grandmaster Jay Found Guilty of Federal Charges; Faces Up to 27 Yrs in Prison

LOUISVILLE, KY – On Friday, a federal jury found NFAC leader John “Grandmaster Jay” Johnson guilty of one count of “Assaulting, Resisting or Impeding” and one count of “Brandishing a Firearm in Relation to a Crime of Violence.”

The charges Johnson faced stemmed from an alleged incident that occurred in September 2020 during protests of the police shooting of Breonna Taylor. According to the federal complaint, officers were on the roof of the Jefferson County grand jury building Louisville, Kentucky when an officer was “blinded by a light which they shortly thereafter determined was a flashlight mounted to the rifle being aimed at them by Johnson.”

Johnson was federally charged in December for pointing the rifle at Louis Metro Police officers, FBI, and Secret Service agents, who were on the rooftop. According to court documents, the FBI reviewed surveillance video from the incident, which included real-time crime center camera footage. Two photos were also included in the filing which allegedly show Johnson aiming a firearm at the officers.

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

The prosecution argued that Johnson should be found guilty because he intentionally used the weapon in a threatening manner. They told the jury that the arguments presented by the defense were just “smoke and mirrors” to make them vote according to their feelings, not facts.

Prosecutors played clips of videos Johnson had posted on social media in the past where he urged his followers to knock police officers unconscious, take their body cameras, flip their police cars, and light them on fire, as well as not allow them to enter their neighborhoods. In another video, he made threatening comments to a person who had called him while he was live on his Instagram account. He told the person they would come after him, his family, his church members or co-workers.

The defense argued that these remarks, although inappropriate, were made out of anger over George Floyd’s death. Johnson’s counsel also told the jury that he was being tried because he was a “Black man with a gun.”

The prosecutor’s response was that there was no connection between the case and Johnson’s race.

Johnson’s attorney asked that he be released to await sentencing , however the judge declined, stating that the law requires that he be detained because of the charge he was guilty of. 

Johnson is facing up to 27 years in federal prison. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Aug. 22, 2022.

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