Three people were injured in downtown Louisville when a member of an armed black militia group with semi-automatic weapons accidentally fired a firearm while marching to a demonstration.
Despite previous reports that the shots were fired due to a dispute between the group and a nearby right-wing extremist organization, it was later confirmed that a member of the Atlanta-based "Not F ***** g Around Coaltion" had accidentally fired on other members shot as they gathered in Baxter Park.
An estimated 350 armed members of the group had gathered there before marching to the main protest site in downtown Louisville, where around 50 members of the right-wing extremist militia group Three Percenters also gathered.
Only a few hours after the shootout, the NFAC leader vowed that the group would return to Louisville to "burn this mother down" if the investigation into Breonna Taylor's death is not completed in four weeks.
John & # 39; Grandmaster Jay & # 39; Johnson made a fiery speech on the steps of Metro Hall on Saturday afternoon when he asked the group to take action if "the truth" about Taylor's death was not released.
He accused the investigation of trying to revise the scene to cover up what happened to the 26-year-old paramedic who was killed on March 13 after a police fire raided her home.
After his speech, members of the armed group were asked to take an oath that they would protect the lives of black people and take action if Johnson's ultimatum was not met.
Member of the NFAC who take an oath during a Saturday demonstration to prevent the murder of black people
Paramedics push a stretcher while police investigate a shootout that took place during an armed rally by an all-black militia group called NFAC in Louisville, Kentucky on Saturday
A medical device is on the floor when police investigate a shootout in Louisville, Kentucky on Saturday
Police ring the area with yellow tape as they investigate the Louisville, Kentucky shootout on Saturday
A supporter of an all-black militia group called NFAC stands near the police officers who are investigating a shootout on Saturday
"I would ask anyone who is not a member of the NFAC to turn around and face them," said Johnson when he asked the black-clad to put their hands up in the air.
"I will never allow the murder of another black man, woman or black child, whether the killer is white or black. I'm the NFC, for life, they cried for Johnson.
The previous Saturday, Baxter Park was the location for NFAC members before they are expected to march towards Jefferson Square Park near the town hall, where around 50 members of the three percent militia gathered.
The Louisville police formed a barricade to separate the two opposite camps. However, no violence was reported.
However, five people were arrested on charges of disorderly behavior and highway disability.
"It was an exciting day for all of us," said deputy boss LaVita Chavous, although the protests remained peaceful.
She said that they were aware of Johnson's ultimatum, but that they had the right to protest peacefully.
However, Chavous criticized those who she claimed were hiding the right to peacefully assemble and use it as a platform to tear up and destroy our city.
The authorities feared the worst when shots were heard earlier that day in Baxter Park.
However, the Louisville Metro Police Department later confirmed that the shootout was the result of a firearm that was accidentally fired. The three wounded victims were taken to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
Leader Johnson asked the NFAC to put their hands in the air when they made a pact to return in four weeks
John & # 39; Grandmaster Jay & # 39; Johnson made a fiery speech on the steps of Metro Hall on Saturday afternoon when he asked the NFAC to take action if the truth about Breonna Taylor's death was not released
Members and supporters of an all-black militia group called NFAC host an armed rally in Louisville, Kentucky on Saturday
Members of the Kentucky Three Percenters Militia line up as members and supporters of an all-black militia group called NFAC, which is holding an armed rally in Louisville
Members of the Atlanta-based NFAC were seen in front of Central High School in Louisville on Saturday
The demonstration of violence was intended as a protest against the authorities' decision to refuse charges against the police officers involved in the fatal shooting of a 26-year-old black ambulance in March
NFAC members are seen above during a rally outside Central High School in Louisville, Kentucky on Saturday
NFAC members are preparing to march from their location in Baxter Park in Louisville on Saturday
Members of the NFAC militia are pointing their guns toward the sky as they prepare to march toward Jefferson Square Park in Louisville, Kentucky on Saturday
NFAC militia members prepare for a march towards Jefferson Square Park in Louisville, Kentucky on Saturday
Despite the shootout, NFAC members marched five blocks toward City Hall, where they stood several hundred feet from the three percent militia.
There, Johnson expressed his anger that the investigation into Taylor's death was expected to take another four months.
The militia leader said he recently spoke to Attorney General Daniel Cameron, who is leading the investigation, and gave him an ultimatum that the group would take action if they did not find a result within four weeks.
"I told him," You have less than four months, "Johnson said to the crowd, which included NFAC members and other demonstrators.
He added that Cameron had told him that Louisville's mayor, Greg Fischer, had only handed the case over to him last week and that the night of the robbery on Taylor's home may have lacked much information.
"There was no crime scene," Johnson told the group, according to the WDRB.
& # 39; There was no report. There was no ballistics. There was no blood and no toxicology. In fact, there was nothing. When they gave it to the AG and he said, "Where's the case?" The mayor said, "I gave you enough. Do your job."
"And they thought it wouldn't go away," Johnson told the group. "But you mother are not stupid. & # 39;
He went on to ask Cameron if the police involved in Taylor's death would be arrested. So far, only one of them has been released.
"I'll do what I have to do," Johnson said, Cameron replied.
"We'll be back here in four weeks and we should have an answer," he said.
According to the WDRB, Cameron admitted to speaking to Johnson, but denied that the investigation would take four months.
"As confirmed earlier this week, the conversation between Grand Master Jay, Metro Council President David James, and the Attorney General was productive," Cameron's statement said.
"The Attorney General reaffirmed his commitment to a thorough and independent investigation into Ms. Taylor's death, but did not comment on details related to the date of the investigation."
The simultaneous demonstrations by NFAC and the right-wing Three Percenters organization in Louisville take place the day after 76 protesters were arrested on Friday.
Police on Saturday The police cordoned off several downtown streets where the demonstrations were taking place.
One of the five people arrested, a supporter of the Black Lives Matter, allegedly tried to break through a police barricade that was set up to divide the two opposite camps.
Johnson was surrounded by members of the NFAC when he submitted the ultimatum to Attorney General Daniel Cameron
Members of an all-black armed militia named NFAC are approaching City Hall in Louisville, Kentucky on Saturday
NFAC members head out to the group to secure locations as they march in Louisville, Kentucky on Saturday
A protester shows his pistol in a holster and demands a reaction to the murder of Breonna Taylor in Louisville, Kentucky, on Saturday
Grand Master Jay (right), the leader of the NFAC, speaks on Saturday during a rally in Louisville, Kentucky
NFAC members head out to the group on Saturday to secure locations in Louisville, Kentucky
Two members of the armed militia are seen up in Louisville, Kentucky during a Saturday demonstration
The militia leader, Grand Master Jay, can be seen in the middle as he leads NFAC members to the town hall
NFAC members rest on Saturday after marching toward City Hall in downtown Louisville, Kentucky
Grandmaster Jay (left), the leader of the NFAC, speaks to the police on Saturday ahead of a march by his group and followers in Louisville, Kentucky
Grandmaster Jay is seen on Saturday marching toward Louisville City Hall as the second right-wing militia member
An armed NFAC member marches alongside his militia colleagues in downtown Louisville, Kentucky on Saturday
A member of the NFAC militia watches other members rest during a march in Louisville, Kentucky on Saturday
Grandmaster Jay (right) begins leading the NFAC militia on a march toward City Hall in Louisville, Kentucky on Saturday
In recent weeks, numerous Black Lives Matter protesters have called for the arrest of Louisville police officers involved in the fatal shooting of 26-year-old EMT Breonna Taylor.
"Once it gets to a point where it looks like the government is no longer responding to the people's will, the Constitution requires that a militia be formed to address the people's grievances," said JJohnson in his speech .
"I didn't write it," Johnson said of the constitution.
& # 39; You (the founding fathers) wrote it. We just stick to it. So that's our goal, because if it looks like the government is indifferent to people, people have the right to form – and arm themselves – to ask these questions. "
Taylor, a 26-year-old black woman, was fatally shot when police officers broke into her Louisville apartment with a warrant during a drug investigation.
The arrest warrant to ransack her home was related to a suspect who was not living there and no drugs were found.
The shootout sparked weeks of protests, policy changes, and an appeal to officials who shot Taylor to prosecute.
Armed members of the black NFAC militia are seen above just before a march in Louisville, Kentucky, on Saturday
NFAC members are in formation during a march in Louisville, Kentucky on Saturday
Armed members of the NFAC can be seen above during a march in Louisville, Kentucky on Saturday
NFAC, headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, is in Louisville, Kentucky to support protests demanding the arrest of three police officers who killed Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old black rescue sister, fatally shot at her home in March
NFAC members can be seen above as they carry firearms on Saturday during a march in Louisville, Kentucky
NFAC members are in formation shortly before their protest march in Louisville, Kentucky on Saturday
An official was released, but no charges were brought. The investigation into the shootings continues.
Johnson said earlier this week that up to 5,000 NFAC members could attend the Louisville demonstration.
"We are here to get an answer, not to go to war," he said. "This is for Bre."
During a previous speech to a crowd of supporters on Friday evening, Johnson also said he had been in dialogue with several senior Kentucky officials, including representatives from the office of Mayor Greg Fischer, Attorney General Daniel Cameron, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
A Republican and the first African American attorney general from Kentucky, Cameron, said he still had no schedule when his office would complete the Taylor case investigation.
In recent weeks, demonstrators have held demonstrations outside Cameron's house demanding that the three police officers be prosecuted.
"We sang, we sang, nothing changed," said Johnson when asked about his organization's presence at the Saturday rally.
Members of the Kentucky Three Percenters militia stand outside the town hall in Louisville, Kentucky on Saturday
The three percent militia is viewed as an extremist group by the hate monitoring organization Southern Poverty Law Center
The three percent derive their name from the false claim that three percent of the colonists fought the British in the American War of Independence
Police officers from Louisville form a barricade on Saturday to separate the three percent militia officers from the sympathizers of the Black Lives Matter
A member of the Three Percenters militia is holding a cigar and a semi-automatic M-16 rifle in Louisville, Kentucky on Saturday
Two members of the three percent militia are seen in tactical gear near the town hall in Louisville, Kentucky on Saturday
The Louisville police arrested two people early Saturday afternoon. Three percent of militia officers can be seen above
"What is the definition of insanity? Always do something and expect different results. & # 39;
Tara Brandau, a member of the Three Percenters, told the Courier Journal that she had heard that several members of a group affiliated with the Ku Klux Klan had planned to come to the protest.
Brandau said the three percent did not support the KKK Group's plan.
"We don't want a KKK," said Brandau.
When the KKK appears, the Louisville police plan to deploy more officials to create another peacekeeping barricade, according to the Courier Journal.
Black residents interviewed by the Courier Journal said they support the presence of the NFAC in the demonstrations.
Breonna Taylor, 26, was shot dead on March 13 at her home in Louisville, Kentucky. A coroner says she died of gunshot wounds almost instantly, but her boyfriend says she coughed and gasped for five minutes
The state of Kentucky has some of the most liberal arms laws in the country. Residents may carry their firearms openly in public if they are authorized to do so.
The presence of highly armed factions causes officials to warn residents to stay away for fear of possible violence.
"The potential for violence is increasing as we will most likely have a number of highly armed groups that take very different positions, as well as other groups that are all in one block," said Republican Kevin Kramer, Louisville City Council. said.
"While efforts are being made to provide a safe environment for everyone present, I would like to point out that the potential for violence will exist."
Kramer said he was concerned that law enforcement agencies lacked the tools to ensure that the situation did not get out of control.
"As an elected official, I want to get up and say that our city is safe and we will protect you, but I have watched the police being instructed to respond in the past and I am not." I don't have much confidence that the police have the resources they need in case something goes wrong, ”he said.
On their website, the right-wing three percent group says it is not an anti-government militia, but "we will defend ourselves if necessary." The group gets its name from the false claim that three percent of American colonists fought in the Revolutionary War.
The group was founded in 2008 in response to Barack Obama's election as president, which raised some allegations of racism against the three percent.
These allegations were exacerbated after the group granted security to the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia in 2017, when neo-Nazis protested along with other far-right organizations.
Protesters at the event sang "Jews will not replace us," waved "White Lives Matter" flags, and a neo-Nazi, James Alex Fields, drove his car into a crowd of anti-racist protesters and killed a 32-year-old woman named Heather Heyer.
Although the three percent have since distanced themselves from the "Unite the Right" rally, the Southern Poverty Law Center still considers them an anti-government group. The group has also grown in Canada, where it has been described as an anti-Muslim militia.
Protests against racism and police brutality were expected to continue this weekend in cities like Louisville and other parts of the country, even though President Trump has pledged to expand federal action by sending armed officials from the Homeland Security Service to maintain peace.
Trump announced on Wednesday that he would send federal agents to Chicago and Albuquerque, New Mexico, to help combat increased crime and expand government intervention into local enforcement while under a "law and order" regime. -Coat for re-election.
Using the same alarmist language he used to describe illegal immigration, Trump painted democratically run cities as out of control and hit the "radical left" he blamed for increasing violence in some cities, even though criminal justice experts did say despite a simple explanation.
"There has been a radical movement in the past few weeks to disappoint, dismantle and dismantle our police department," Trump said at an event in the White House on Wednesday, blaming the movement for a shocking explosion of shootings, murders, murders, and hideous violent crimes . & # 39;
"This bloodshed must end," he said. "This bloodshed will end."
The decision to send federal agents to American cities takes place at a hyper-politicized moment when Trump is looking for a new re-election strategy after the coronavirus has stirred up the economy and dismantled what his campaign had seen as a second-term ticket .
Less than four months before election day, Trump warns that violence will worsen if his democratic rival Joe Biden is elected in November and the Democrats have the opportunity to implement the police reforms they have following George Floyd's murder and nationwide protests have endorsed racial justice.
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