Around 500 armed demonstrators wearing all-black uniforms gathered to march with the “Not Fucking Around Coalition” Saturday afternoon in Louisville, Kentucky, drawing hundreds of onlookers and rival militia counter-demonstrators.
The “NFAC” describes itself as an all-Black militia group committed to racial justice. The newly-founded group has gained national attention in the past month for holding two armed marches in Georgia.
The group assembled at Louisville’s Baxter Park, where at approximately 1 p.m., a single accidental blast from a firearm left three people injured. The shooter and all three victims were NFAC members, according to Louisville Metro Police Department Deputy Chief LaVita Chavous.
“The Louisville Metro Police Department, Louisville Division of fire, and Louisville Metro EMS responded quickly and rendered aid to all three victims,” said Deputy Chief Chavous. “Without their quick response, this could have been a much worse situation.”
In spite of the accidental shooting, the NFAC march went on as planned. The group’s leader, John Fitzgerald Johnson, aka “The Real Grandmaster Jay,” led approximately 500 armed members of his group into downtown.
The group struggled to keep media at a distance. “Y’all back up and give me some goddamn room please,” Johnson told a crowd of photographers, before pointing a semi-automatic rifle into the air.
“I’m gonna shoot up in the air,” he said, which repelled the journalists several feet. He lowered the weapon without firing it.
Following an approximately half-mile march, Johnson addressed the crowd with a 50-minute long speech. He plainly warned Louisville that if there aren’t answers in the death of Breonna Taylor within four weeks, his group would “burn this motherfucker down.”
Breonna Taylor was a 26-year-old Black woman shot and killed by police officers in a no-knock raid on her home by the Louisville Police Department in March. The shooting sparked nationwide protests. One officer has been fired, but none have been charged.
Ahead of the demonstration, a coalition of “III%” militias assembled in downtown Louisville to counter the NFAC.
Approximately 100 armed activists assembled and were led by Tara Brandau. Brandau leads a Kentucky based militia called “Wild Card III%.”
Brandau – who prefers to go by her in-group call sign “Hoggirl” – told News2Share that her group’s goal was to ensure that “things remain peaceful.”
“The NFAC I don’t really have a view of them,” she said. “As long as they stay peaceful, I’m fine with them doing their 1st and 2nd Amendment.”
While the group presented itself as a neutral peacekeeping force, an online graphic spread by the III% groups told militias to come “stand against the NFAC!”
“III%” refers to the historical theory that only three percent of the population of the American colonies participated in the revolution against Britain. It is now used by right-of-center non-government militia groups in the United States.
A handful of unarmed protesters confronted the III% activists early in the day. Two arrests were made by the time police erected barricades separating the III% group from other protesters.
Deputy Chief Chavous confirmed that a total of five arrests had been made throughout the day, with charges including “disorderly conduct, obstructing a highway, and menacing.”