The group has marched in Stone Mountain, Georgia, calling for the removal of the nation’s largest confederate monument. They also marched in Brunswick, Georgia, protesting for Ahmaud Arbery; Louisville and Kentucky, demanding more transparency in the Breonna Taylor case; and most recently Lafayette, Louisiana.
Their presence has drawn some criticism after people accidentally fired a gun during two of their rallies, including the one in Lafayette.
Johnson says his group emerged as a response to enduring racial inequality and police brutality.
“We’re not ‘effing’ around anymore with the continued abuses within our community and the lack of respect for our men, women and children,” Johnson told CNN.
Johnson says his group intends to protect, self-police and educate Black communities on firearms and their constitutional rights.
“We are not against anyone,” said Johnson, who is also known as Grand Master Jay.
“Nobody says anything when other demographics pick up weapons, decide to arm themselves and confront the government over anything from wearing a mask to being cooped up in the house, but when certain demographics arm themselves all of a sudden people tend to act as if the Constitution doesn’t matter,” Johnson said.
Since 1966 after the shooting of Matthew Johnson, a Black teenager killed by police, when the Black Panther Party was formed, no other black armed group has had so much prominence.
“In one sense it (NFAC) echoes the Black Panthers but they are more heavily armed and more disciplined… So far, they’ve coordinated with police and avoided engaging with violence,” Thomas Mockaitis, a professor of history at DePaul University said in an interview with CNN.
“There’s no moral equivalency when comparing NFAC to White armed groups, Mockaitis said.
“The White militia movement is older, larger, probably more heavily armed, certainly more pervasive, it has many more people and it has been violent’
More photos below.