Jury finds black militia leader guilty

They convicted John Johnson of assaulting, resisting or obstructing officers on official duty and brandishing a firearm in connection with a crime of violence.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The trial of John Johnson, also known as “Grandmaster Jay,” ended Friday after four days.

The jury found Johnson guilty on two counts, the first being assaulting, resisting or embarrassing officers on official duty. The second is brandishing a firearm in connection with a crime of violence.

Johnson will remain in custody until his sentencing hearing, which is scheduled for August 22. His defense attorneys said they would submit a motion for a new trial.

Johnson was arrested on December 3, 2020 following federal officials accusing him of pointing an assault rifle at officers in September 2020.

Johnson testified Thursday. On Friday, the U.S. attorney and the defense offered their cross-examination of Johnson’s testimony.

During cross-examination, the prosecutor said he should know about gun safety given that it was revealed on Thursday that he was a cloud architect in the US military and was in the army for 17 years.

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Prosecutors’ closing arguments mentioned how Johnson was told through multiple virtual meetings with city officials that police would be on the rooftops.

The prosecution showed additional footage from that night saying that Johnson, in his testimony, believed he was the only one with a tactical flashlight on his gun. However, the prosecutor said he was able to see two other people with flashlights in the videos.

The defense’s closing arguments began with how they believed the opinion was racially motivated and that he was well within his Second Amendment rights.

They also said the big key point is that the charges boil down to knowing Johnson’s intent, which they say was not to threaten anyone.

The defense also claimed that Johnson was told that teenagers were on the roof shooting people with paintball guns, and said he turned on his light to see who was on the roof.

RELATED: Jury Finds ‘Grandmaster Jay’ Guilty on Both Counts

The defense said Johnson was never arrested that night, attended the Kentucky Derby walk the next day, and walked away a free man. They said the lawsuit didn’t make sense because if the U.S. attorney saw him as a threat, they wondered why he wasn’t prosecuted until three months later at his Ohio home.

Johnson is the leader of a black militia called “NFAC”.

Band members were in the courtroom in support of Johnson. When they heard the verdict, the members burst into tears.

The day ended with NFAC members raising their fists and chanting “Black Power” and Johnson telling them he loves them.

All parties declined to comment.

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About Jessica J. Bass

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