Grandmaster Jay Sentenced to 7 Years in Prison on Charges Related to Breonna Taylor Protest

The 59-year-old Cincinnati man, legal name John Fitzgerald Johnson, was accused of pointing an AR-15 rifle at two law enforcement officers in 2020.

John Johnson, also known as "Grandmaster Jay" and leader of the NFAC

Image via Getty/Jon Cherry

John Johnson, also known as "Grandmaster Jay" and leader of the NFAC

Grandmaster Jay, the leader of a Black pro-gun activist group, will spend the rest of the decade behind bars. 

The 59-year-old Cincinnati man—legal name John Fitzgerald Johnson—was sentenced to 86 months in prison this week for his actions during a 2020 protest in Kentucky. Johnson, who founded the Not Fucking Around Coalition, was accused of pointing an AR-15 rifle at two federally deputized officers in downtown Louisville, as he and other demonstrators took to the streets demanding justice for Breonna Taylor.

According to local outlets, the NFAC and other participating groups chose to conduct the protests on Kentucky Derby Day, arguing the event should’ve been canceled because authorities had yet to file criminal charges in connection to Taylor’s death. The 26-year-old Black woman was killed in March 2020 during a botched raid on her Louisville apartment.

Back in May, a federal jury convicted Johnson on one count of “assaulting, resisting or impeding” law enforcement, and one count of “brandishing a firearm in relation to a crime of violence.” The 86-month sentence was a little more than the minimum allowed under federal law. He was originally facing up to 27 years in federal prison.

According to the Enquirer, Johnson is ineligible for parole and will have three years of supervised release after completing his seven-year prison sentence.

Johnson spoke to Complex last year about NFAC’s mission, which included “the establishment of an infrastructure that can assist in being the framework for community, self-policing, and the protection of our own communities and our race.”

“We live in a world where racism is appearing to rear its ugly head again the way it did back in the Jim Crow days,” the Army veteran explained. “We didn’t create that. It recreated itself. So it proved to be fertile ground for the creation of the NFAC, the same way it was fertile ground in the ’60s to create the Black Panthers.”

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