On Saturday, two gun-toting political groups planned to square off in downtown Louisville.
NFAC, which stands for the Not F**king Around Coalition, had announced their plan to hold a march through the city earlier this month. Multiple 111%er militias took to social media to call on their members and like-minded Kentuckians to also show up heavily armed in downtown Louisville, with the usual claims of “helping” law enforcement and “protecting locals and their property” by standing around in body armor with rifles.
In a city still reeling from weeks of Black Lives Matter demonstrations in response to the murders of Minneapolis’s George Floyd and Louisville’s own Breonna Taylor, during which at least one local Black business owner was shot and killed by Kentucky National Guard and Louisville Police officers, some feared the meeting of NFAC and local militias would escalate to violence.
The day was, however, almost entirely peaceful. Local militias were kept separated from NFAC by local police.
Around 1 p.m., an NFAC member accidentally discharged a firearm, injuring three other NFAC members who were taken by ambulance to be treated for non-life threatening injuries.
It was the only shot fired that day, as a few hundred black-clad NFAC members marched in formation through Louisville with a relatively subdued police escort without other incidents despite a rush of conservative media outlets who claimed that the shooting created chaos.
Grandmaster Jay, the head of NFAC, told supporters that they’d come to Louisville to help with community policing in the city’s predominately Black neighborhoods, as well as to hold city officials accountable for their investigation into the police killing of Taylor, announcing that the city had four weeks to publicly reveal their findings or else NFAC would return.
The gallery of images below contain images made Saturday, July 25, 2020.
Armed counter protestors stand across a police line from NFAC demonstrators in downtown Louisville. According to one local counter protestor, at least two local Kentucky militias were present, though many counter protestors were unaffiliated local Kentuckians concerned about NFAC. Photo: Chris Jones/100 Days in Appalachia
A counter protestor wearing a shirt often associated with the “boogaloo bois” community looks across a police barricade at NFAC protestors. Photo: Chris Jones/100 Days in Appalachia
Louisville PD officers stand between NFAC and counter protestors. Unlike previous protests in Louisville were police would deploy tear gas, flash bang grenades, and pepper spray against BLM protests, they seemed far more relaxed and non-confrontational during the NFAC demonstration. Photo: Chris Jones/100 Days in Appalachia
A mural of Breonna Talyor, the 26 year old EMT who was murdered by police officers when they mistakenly raided her house without warning on March 13, 2020, looms over NFAC members and local BLM protestors in Jefferson Square Park in downtown Louisville. Local activists provided food, water, and medical care in the square during the demonstration. Photo: Chris Jones/100 Days in Appalachia
NFAC members stand guard as an organizer speaks from the steps of the Jefferson County Clerk building in downtown Louisville. Photo: Chris Jones/100 Days in Appalachia
NFAC members raise their fists after pledging to protect Black Americans from gun violence in downtown Louisville. Photo: Chris Jones/100 Days in Appalachia
A Louisville police officer watches as NFAC members marched in formation away from Jefferson Square Park. Unlike previous protests, the police presence was minimal, resembling a parade escort rather than the lines of riot police and National Guard soldiers seen in previous weeks. Photo: Chris Jones/100 Days in Appalachia
Local residents join NFAC as they marched through downtown Louisville. Photo: Chris Jones/100 Days in Appalachia
An NFAC member marches through downtown Louisville. Photo: Chris Jones/100 Days in Appalachia
NFAC members gather in the shade at the end of their rally in Louisville. Photo: Chris Jones/100 Days in Appalachia
An NFAC member rests in the shade after marching for hours in 90 degree heat. Photo: Chris Jones/100 Days in Appalachia
NFAC members and local Louisville residents rest after hours of marching in the blistering heat. Photo: Chris Jones/100 Days in Appalachia
A couple from North Carolina who traveled to Louisville to march with NFAC share a laugh as they rest in the shade. Many NFAC marchers were from across the Southeast, and have traveled for other NFAC demonstrations across the region. Photo: Chris Jones/100 Days in Appalachia
A pair of NFAC members pose for a portrait in front of a playground in downtown Louisville. Photo: Chris Jones/100 Days in Appalachia
NFAC members seen walking through downtown Louisville. Photo: Chris Jones/100 Days in Appalachia
Chris Jones is a Report for America corps member covering domestic extremism for 100 Days in Appalachia. Click here to help support his investigative reporting through the Ground Truth Project.