ORGANIZATIONS UNITE TO FREE CONVICTED BREONNA TAYLOR ACTIVIST GRAND MASTER JAY.
Updated: Aug 11
The National Action Network Joins Efforts to
Free John Fitzgerald Johnson, aka Grand Master Jay
A group of several organizations have united to raise awareness to what they are calling a miscarriage of justice and request the immediate release of an activist that led two legally armed demonstrations in response to the police killing of Breonna Taylor.
The Concerned Coalition of African Americans, The National Action Network Louisville Kentucky State Chapter, and several other organizations announced that they are partnering to demand the acquittal and release of John F. Johnson also known as, The Grand Master Jay. With the launch of the Bring Him Home Campaign, they are seeking the exoneration of Johnson, the founder and former leader of The all Black NFAC militia, who lead two legally armed demonstrations through the streets of Louisville, Kentucky in July and September of 2020 to demand transparency into the investigation and justice in the killing of Breonna Taylor.
Ms. Taylor was killed in a botched police raid by the Louisville Metro Police Department in March of 2020. This triggered months of rioting and demonstrations. In July and September of 2020 Johnson and the NFAC coordinated with city government and the LMPD to conduct the largest organized all black legally armed demonstrations in U.S. history. Johnson was arrested by Federal Joint Terrorism Task Force Authorities at his home in an early morning raid in December of 2020 and charged with pointing his AR15 assault style rifle at Federally deputized LMPD officers stationed on a downtown rooftop the night before he led the September demonstration at the Kentucky Derby.
Johnson contended he was not aware who was on the nighttime rooftop and simply used his weapon mounted flashlight to see who was up there. Video evidence of the incident clearly shows that his fingers were never on the trigger and that he never aimed his weapon as he briefly swept his light from side to side. Johnson testified that his weapon was on safe the entire time. Johnson, who had previously led six other such demonstrations across the nation without incident, was tried and convicted in a Louisville Federal District Court in May of 2022 by an all-white jury in what the coalition of organizations called a sham trial.
They said that Johnson, who insisted on many occasions that all those who exercised their 1st and 2nd amendment rights to respect the law and law enforcement, was targeted by the Trump administration because of his race and the growing size of the NFAC and the popularity of his legally armed protesting movement. Legal gun sales amongst the Black community increased 85% in 2020 in response to this movement. Currently being held in Kentucky, Johnson faces up to 25 years in Federal prison. He is scheduled to be sentenced in August of 2022 and still faces trial in Kentucky State Court for the same offense.
The organizations are asking the Federal Judge to release Johnson from detention pending his sentencing citing, Johnson who was free on pretrial release for nearly two years prior to being convicted, had no violations, and attended all hearings on his own. They insist that his current detention prevents him from preparing for his sentencing hearing or preparing for his upcoming State Trial. They further assert that he is not a flight risk and not a danger to the community. The coalition of organizations announce the kickoff of the Bring Him Home Campaign at a meeting convened in Louisville on July 28th and have requested volunteers from the public and from other organizations to join them in this effort.
The group laid out a detailed six-point approach plan ranging from political support lobbying to social media content creation and trial injustice awareness activities. They state that individuals interested in joining or supporting this effort may direct inquiries via email to INFO@JUSTICE4GMJ.COM. Eleanor Harvey,
BHH Coordinator states, "The U.S. Government has targeted, falsely charged, and convicted Johnson in a sham trial while those who stormed the U. S. Capitol on January the 6th are getting away with murder.
This is how America treats Black people who stand up for their people and exercise their constitutional rights. This is a shame." National Action Network Louisville Kentucky State Chapter, Founder and President, Kathleen Parks, said "We stand behind the exoneration and or acquittal of Mr. Johnson on this miscarriage of justice.
He is being treated as if he is the worst type of criminal when he was the most law-abiding citizen during any protest he participated in.
This is unacceptable."
Bring Him Home Campaign Program Coordinator