LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The leader of an armed black militia group said his group members are coming to Louisville this weekend.
NFAC Leader Grand Master Jay posted a video describing what members will wear and carry on Saturday:
"Black boots, black button down shirts, black mask, shot gun, semi-automatic or rifle, pistol or thigh holsters under your arm," he said. "If you are not in that uniform, you won't be in the formation."
In another video, he said NFAC, which stands for "Not F**king Around Coalition," will be meeting at Central High School at noon. He referenced the Breonna Taylor case.
Louisville Metro Police representatives say they are aware of the post. A spokesman for JCPS says Central High School is closed, and that has been communicated to the group.
"As with all protests we learn about, we attempt to reach out to organizers to understand what their plans are," the department said in a statement. "We have had several protests posted over the past several weeks, some of which have occurred and some which have not. We will take the appropriate steps to prepare for whatever may occur."
NFAC was in Stone Mountain, Georgia, on July 4, armed and dressed in black. Video and posts about the group were shared on social media.
In a statement, Black Lives Matter Louisville calls NFAC "outside agitators" and said people from the outside should stay in their areas to protest so the cause can have a united front, no matter what state you are in.
"Fight [injustice] where you are, fight for defunding where you are, so we can all maintain black liberation," BLM Louisville said.
Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron was made aware of the possible march and said he and Louisville Metro Council President David James had a "productive" discussion over the phone with Grand Master Jay on Monday.
"Attorney General Cameron discussed his continued commitment to moving forward with our office's independent and thorough investigation into the death of Ms. Taylor," Elizabeth Goss Kuhn, spokesperson for the attorney general, said in a statement to WDRB News.
Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer also knows about the possible march and said the city is prepared for it.
"So our police force will be in touch with the event organizers — in this case NFAC — to understand what their goals are coming into town," he said. "So people have the First Amendment right to free speech, but we coordinate with those groups to make sure that everybody is safe. And then we also have the amount of resources that we need to make sure that the situation is managed properly."
Fischer addressed a number of pressing issues when he was interviewed by WDRB's Valerie Chinn on Tuesday morning.
Among the additional topics discussed were the likelihood of Derby being held with spectators and whether or not it will be safe to attend the Kentucky State Fair.
Below is a transcript of that interview:
VALERIE CHINN: Mayor Greg Fischer is here to talk about a number of topics this afternoon. Thanks for coming in.
MAYOR FISCHER: Hey Valerie.
VALERIE CHINN: Of course, people want to know about the Breonna Taylor investigation. Where does that stand?
MAYOR FISCHER: It’s with the attorney general right now. The big focus from day one is to make sure the truth comes out in this case, and people are frustrated by the amount of time that it’s taking. So attorney general, FBI, U.S. Attorney are all looking at it as well. But in terms of any charges that could come out of it, it’s with Attorney General Daniel Cameron right now.
VALERIE CHINN: What do you think the holdup is? Why it’s taking so long?
MAYOR FISCHER: Well, you’d have to ask him that. I mean, these are involved cases, obviously, with 100-plus people interviewed and a lot of ballistics and evidence that comes with this. But what I do know is that people are frustrated by this. The longer it takes them, the people think there’s some kind of secret or there’s some kind of cover-up going on.
And that’s why it’s really important that we focus on police reform, with more transparency and more accountability. That’s going to help our police officers as well. So the civilian review work group that we’ve got going on right now to develop a more effective citizen-involved investigation from the very beginning, so they can see what’s taking place throughout a case. The group needs subpoena power so people understand the right people are testifying and balance those rights, as citizens need to know, with the due process rights of the police officers. And good police officers want this kind of transparency and accountability also.
VALERIE CHINN: The NFAC — an armed militia group — made an announcement online that they’re coming to Louisville this Saturday and for people to get ready. Here’s what the leader of the group said in a YouTube video:
CLIP PLAYS: "Black boots, black pants, black button-down shirt, black masks, shotgun — semi-automatic or rifle — pistols, side holsters or under your arm. If you’re not in that uniform, you won’t be in the formation."
VALERIE CHINN: How is the city preparing for an event like this that they’re planning?
MAYOR FISCHER: So our police force will be in touch with the event organizers — in this case NFAC — to understand what their goals are coming into town. So people have the First Amendment right to free speech, but we coordinate with those groups to make sure that everybody is safe. And then we also have the amount of resources that we need to make sure that the situation is managed properly.
VALERIE CHINN: How valid do you think these claims are that they are actually going to come to town?
MAYOR FISCHER: Well, you always have to kind of plan for the maximum worst case and then hope for the best. So that’s what we do, whether it’s a group like this or other groups that have visited our city. So it’s a dynamic environment, and LMPD is monitoring all of these types of potential eventualities, and that’s one of the things that’s challenging to them is on their manpower to make sure that we have got enough people at the right place at the right time.
VALERIE CHINN: And we asked LMPD about it too. They said that they’re aware of the post, and they’re (reaching out to organizers) to see exactly what their plans are for the city.
Now let’s talk about the Kentucky Derby and the State Fair. COVID cases are going up. How likely is it that we’re actually going to have a Derby that’s in-person where fans can be there?
MAYOR FISCHER: Well Derby, obviously, is going to go on, as you say. The question is, how many people will be in attendance, and Churchill Downs has done a great job in terms of planning a socially distanced type of event.
But we’ve got a challenge right now in Louisville with the increase in cases with the coronavirus. We’ve been increasing about 40%, week-over-week, here for these last three weeks. So the question is: Is it going to continue to go like that? Or are we going to plateau off? But when you look to the south and southwest of us — what’s going on in Florida and Texas and Arizona and Georgia — it’s super-concerning. Right?
So people have got to say, ‘What can I do to stop the spread of the virus?’ So let’s never get tired of saying, ‘Put your mask on! Stay socially distant.’ I mean, this is the way that you stop the transmission of the virus. So relatively speaking, we’ve been doing pretty good. But you can see we’re having a challenge right now, and the governor has ordered groups down to 10 now from 50. So this virus is no joke, and we do not want to overrun our hospital system like you’re seeing in the states south and southwest of us.
VALERIE CHINN: The state fair is scheduled in less than a month. Do you think it’s safe for people to go to the state fair?
MAYOR FISCHER: Those are, I think, decisions that are going to have to be made as you get very close. I mean, if we continue this kind of escalation? No. If it levels off and comes back down? Maybe.
But then the state fair also has a plan where there are much fewer people there as well.
But, I mean, the best case is everybody stays home for two weeks and then we don’t transmit the virus. So what we’re trying to do is learn how to manage living with the virus and getting the economy going. But right now, clearly, the virus is winning, and we’ve got to do our part to stop that.
VALERIE CHINN: And what about the field hospital that’s at the state fair? How much is that costing?
MAYOR FISCHER: Well, since it’s a state-owned facility, it’s not costing anything. It’s just waiting — right? — in case it’s needed. And you’ll see some people on the field hospitals put in place, say ‘We’re never gonna need this.’ Well, in this environment we’re in right now, maybe. Now we still have good capacity at our hospitals and our ICUs and our ventilators here in town, but as you’re starting to see this increase, the question is: How high is it gonna go? Because you can see hospitals are being overrun in Florida, in Texas — it almost happened in New York before — so we see there’s a precedent for this. But we also see how you can beat the virus — not beat it, but manage it. New York, which was out of control a couple of months ago, is now one of the best spots in America. So with the proper discipline of people having and wearing their masks and social distancing, we can make dramatic improvement on this virus.
So I just implore with everybody: Please do your part, OK? It’s nothing political about the virus. We need to wear our masks and stay apart from each other. And if you can, just stay home.
VALERIE CHINN: Mayor, thank you for your time this morning.
MAYOR FISCHER: Thanks Valerie.
At this point, the interview ended.
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