Leader’s Arrest Quiets One of America’s Largest Militias

By Ken Silva
Ken Silva
Ken Silva
Ken Silva is a former reporter for The Epoch Times.
February 14, 2022Updated: February 15, 2022

One of America’s largest militias has been inactive since its leader’s arrest—and it’s not the Oath Keepers.

The group in question is the Not [Expletive] Around Coalition (NFAC), an all-black militia that captured headlines during the protests in the summer of 2020. With untold hundreds of NFAC members showing up at events sporting military gear and rifles, the organization has claimed credit for pressuring the government for justice in cases such as the murder of Ahmaud Arbery.

But following a September 2020 rally in Louisville, Kentucky, NFAC leader John F. Johnson was arrested for allegedly pointing his firearm at a group of FBI agents, Secret Service members, and Louisville Metro Police Department officers. The task force officers were on the roof of the Jefferson County Grand Jury Building, keeping watch on Jefferson Square Park, where armed protesters had gathered.

“A short time after initiating surveillance, [the officers] were blinded by a light, which they shortly thereafter determined was a flashlight mounted to the rifle aimed at them by Johnson,” the government’s complaint against Johnson said.

The NFAC has been largely silent since Johnson’s arrest—as noted in a New Black Nationalism article with no byline.

“Since [Johnson’s] arrest in West Chester, Ohio, on Dec. 3, 2020, on five federal and State of Kentucky charges, the NFAC has virtually disappeared,” the article said.

“Has the NFAC demobilized? Did [Johnson] confine them to barracks? Have they gone underground? Or, is the NFAC awaiting further instructions?”

While Johnson declined to comment because of his upcoming federal trial, an NFAC spokesperson provided the following statement to The Epoch Times: “We can clarify for you that the NFAC has been in a stand-down posture, as ordered by its Commander (Johnson) after he was arrested in 2020.

“As we are a law-abiding organization, we thought it the proper thing to do, pending the outcome of the legal proceedings,” spokeswoman Debbie James said. “We didn’t anticipate it would last for 14 months, but are looking forward to its conclusion in April.”

Johnson, also widely known by his DJ name, Grand Master Jay, elaborated about his organization in a recent appearance on AllHipHopTV. According to Johnson, NFAC has been quiet because its members see his arrest as political persecution, and they fear the same.

“There’s a reason you don’t see us: Because as far as we’re concerned, we’re still under attack,” Johnson said in the interview, which was published on Dec. 21, 2021.

Johnson also cited the events of Jan. 6, 2021, as a reason for his group’s silence. After the breach of the Capitol, the Biden administration has ramped up its war on domestic extremism, giving various government agencies enhanced resources to go after groups such as NFAC, he said.

“January 6 gave government everything it needed to go after low-hanging fruit, and we were not going to be low-hanging fruit,” he said.

“Therefore, of course, we go into sleep mode. Everybody just stands down and goes back to their ‘Bruce Wayne,’ and whatever it is that they do until we can find out exactly what the government is up to,” Johnson said.

“Because we haven’t done anything wrong, but try telling that to the 80-some tactical officers that showed up to my house,” he said.

Johnson claimed in the interview that his arrest was a politically calculated move to kneecap NFAC.

“Anybody who plays chess knows that if I get your queen,” he said. “The U.S. government didn’t take long to analyze the movements and realize, ‘If we get him, then at least we can quiet everything down and get things back under control.’”

Meanwhile, Johnson said his organization is still active behind the scenes.

“Our leadership within the NFAC is as active as ever. We know who we are, we’re in communication with each other, and we’re conducting our own activities. I don’t talk about the inner workings of my organization. I never have,” he said.

“It would be unintelligent for me to jeopardize all the law-abiding, legal-gun-owning members of the NFAC by divulging their information, and getting them hemmed up in the madness that’s trying to consume me.”

The NFAC leader is set for trial on April 25 in federal court in Louisville.

“This is going to be over one way or the other in April,” Johnson said in December. “It’s either I’m free and this is over, or I put my fist in the air while I’m going to prison.”