“Grandmaster Jay,” whose name is John Fitzgerald Johnson, was sentenced Wednesday to seven years and two months in prison. Johnson, 59, was found guilty of brandishing a firearm at state and federal officers as well as assault. In February 2021, he was first indicted by a federal grand jury. In May of this year, he was found guilty.
Johnson, who is a leader of a Black militia, led the group through a march in the September 2020 Breonna Taylor protests in Louisville twice. According to a statement from the U.S. Department of Justice, he also received 3 years of supervised release, with no option of parole, in addition to the prison sentence.
Following the Louisville protests, Johnson was said to have pointed his AR-15 rifle toward a roof where a Secret Service agent, an FBI agent, and three local officers had been stationed. An excerpt from the Department of Justice statement explains:
“According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, Johnson, on the evening of September 4, 2020, forcibly assaulted, resisted, opposed, impeded, intimidated, and interfered with a federally deputized task force officer who was performing official duties, when Johnson aimed a rifle at him. Johnson brandished an AR-15 platform rifle and tactical flashlight at two federally deputized Task Force Officers. Both are detectives with the Louisville Metro Police Department. Johnson was also sentenced to 3 years of supervised release upon completion of his term of imprisonment. There is no parole in the federal system.”
Ultimately, Johnson was later found guilty of one count of brandishing a firearm in relation to a crime of violence and one count of assaulting a federal officer. Johnson’s lawyer, Murdoch Walker II, commented to the The Courier Journal that the sentencing was a “bittersweet day” and that it was “inevitable.” He also shared that they plan to appeal.
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