LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) – Members of a paramilitary organization have publicly stated they plan to host a protest in downtown Lafayette Saturday afternoon, Oct. 3, at Parc Sans Souci at 4 p.m.
The group, called the Not F****** Around Coalition (NFAC), is expected to protest the shooting death of Trayford Pellerin, who was killed in an altercation with Lafayette Police on Aug. 21. The NFAC was most recently seen nationally in Louisville, Ky., in July protesting the death of Breonna Taylor. The Louisville Courier-Journal reported 300 members of the armed militia showed up to protest, though a YouTube video posted by the leader of the group claimed 3,500 members were present. Despite a tension-filled day in which counter-protesters were also present, no violence erupted.
The group is led by former U.S. presidential candidate John Fitzgerald Johnson, known as “Grandmaster Jay.” The NFAC claims that it is not affiliated with Black Lives Matter or the Black Panther Party. He was quoted in Newsweek in July as saying, “We are a Black militia. We aren’t protesters, we aren’t demonstrators. We don’t come to sing, we don’t come to chant. That’s not what we do.”
The NFAC seems to have been the primary target of U.S. Rep. Clay Higgins’ Sept. 1 Facebook post in which he said he would “drop any 10 of you where you stand” and “…you won’t walk away.” Facebook officials took the post down.
Lafayette Consolidated Government spokesman Jamie Angelle said the group has applied for a permit for the protest on Saturday, and while he would not go into details on security matters, he noted that law enforcement “will obviously have officers and security there to protect both spectators and marchers.”
Angelle said it was unknown how many people the NFAC was planning on bringing to Lafayette. He said LCG would release more information on the protest in the coming days.