Cleveland County Man Live-Streams D.C. Bomb Threat
Investigators have confirmed that the man who effectively shut down Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. with a bomb threat on Thursday was 49-year-old Floyd Ray Roseberry of Grover, N.C., which is located less than an hour drive from Charlotte.
Roseberry parked his pickup truck in front of the Library of Congress and began live-streaming from his Facebook account, which has since been taken down. In the videos, he claimed to have had at least one large bomb in his truck and threatened to detonate it if anyone took action against him. The D.C. bomb threat led to the evacuation of the library, the Supreme Court, the Cannon House Office Building and the offices of the Republican National Committee.
Thursday’s incident occurred within walking distance of the U.S. Capitol, where in January, thousands of Donald Trump supporters violently stormed the building, resulting in the death of multiple people. In his videos on Thursday, Roseberry voiced support for Trump and demanded to speak to President Joe Biden. He spoke repeatedly of a revolution that he believed to be occurring currently within the United States, railed against Democrats and claimed Trump had won the 2020 election.
Roseberry also threw one-dollar bills out of his car throughout his D.C. bomb threat, as was photographed by a passerby who posted the picture to Twitter.
The FBI and Department of Homeland Security descended on Roseberry’s Cleveland County home while the standoff was still occurring. Investigators reportedly spoke to his wife, whom Roseberry had mentioned in his videos, referencing the fact that she has cancer and couldn’t get health insurance to cover her treatment. His wife told NBC News that he had been struggling with his mental health and recently switched medications.
Following nearly a five-hour standoff, Roseberry surrendered to police without incident. Investigators found no bomb in his truck, but did seize what they called “bomb-making” materials, including a propane tank.
Roseberry appeared in court on Friday and faces two charges related to the D.C. bomb threat: attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction, for which he could face up to life in prison; and use or attempted use of an explosive device, which carries up to a 10-year sentence. He will undergo a competency screening to evaluate whether he’s mentally fit to stand trial.
City Workers Make Demands in Light of Potential Vaccine Mandate
The Charlotte City Worker chapter of the UE Local 150 union held a rally Wednesday afternoon to demand that city government provide financial incentives and guarantees for those workers who have not yet been fully vaccinated. The rally came in response to the city’s orders that all of its employees provide proof of vaccination or take weekly COVID-19 tests beginning Thursday, Aug. 19.
“While the union is in full support of all workers getting vaccinated, since the only way we can recover from this pandemic is with herd immunity, we recognize the potential impact on city workers who may choose to quit work rather than getting vaccinated,” the release read.
The union acknowledged the city is not yet requiring vaccinations, but pointed out that many employers, including the City of Raleigh, are. In preparation of a vaccination mandate, the workers who rallied on Wednesday demanded the city provide financial incentive and guarantees if vaccinated, including the following: $250 and two paid days of leave, extension of a life-insurance policy to workers that have negative or unexpected side effects to the vaccine, 80 hours of additional leave for use if sick or quarantining related to COVID, and pension benefits including for workers not yet fully vested if they are unable to return to work due to side effects from the vaccine.
It should be noted that there are no widespread reports of side effects from the vaccine knocking people out of work, while there are many such reports of COVID-19 having that effect. It appears the goals of the demands are to increase vaccine rates for city workers by addressing the financial and work-related concerns of those who remain reluctant.
Breakthrough Cases Remain Rare in Mecklenburg County
According to the most recent data from Mecklenburg County Public Health released on Friday, there had been 432 confirmed “breakthrough” cases, meaning people who had been fully vaccinated before testing positive for COVID-19, between March 22 and Aug. 18. For context, that means 0.00077% of Mecklenburg County residents who have been vaccinated have later positive for COVID-19. Now let’s see about everyone else.
In terms of broader COVID-19 stats, there have been 129,703 total cases of COVID-19 confirmed in Mecklenburg County and 1,024 deaths. That’s an increase of 4,128 cases and 18 deaths compared to the same time last week.
More in-depth data for cases that had occurred up to Wednesday showed all metrics on the rise, with an average of 528 laboratory confirmed infections reported per day over the past week compared to 500 confirmed infections per day in the previous two weeks. People aged between 25 and 39 years old are testing positive far more than other age groups. At 34.5% of cases over the past two weeks, they far outweigh the second age group of 40-49 years old, which made up 14.3% of new cases.
There were an average of 368 people hospitalized due to COVID-19 on any given day over the past week, a more than 100-person increase from last week’s average, and an average test-positivity rate of 13.2%, a slightly increasing trend.
MCPH also reported on Friday that 55% of the total population of Mecklenburg County (613,656 residents) had been at least partially vaccinated as of Wednesday, while 51% of Mecklenburg County’s total population (562,977 residents) had been fully vaccinated.
Two Racist Street Name Replacement Announced, Seven To Go
The City of Charlotte announced Druid Hills Way as the replacement street name for Jefferson Davis Street during the Great Neighborhoods Committee meeting Wednesday. A public unveiling of the new Druid Hills Way street signs is planned for Sept. 25.
Jefferson Davis Street was the first of nine streets to be renamed following the Charlotte City Council’s February 2021 approval to adopt Legacy Commission recommendations to rename streets named after leaders of the Confederacy and white supremacists. The other streets that will be renamed in the coming months include: Phifer Avenue, Jackson Avenue, Zebulon Avenue, Aycock Lane, West Hill Street, Morrison Avenue, Barringer Drive, and Stonewall Street.
City staff began community engagement efforts with residents in June, inviting them to provide feedback and new name recommendations in a survey. There were 17 suggested names that met the new criteria recommended by the Legacy Commission. A new survey showed Druid Hills Way was the overwhelming first choice, preferred by 55% of the respondents compared to 9% for the next highest choice.
Other name changes will follow the same process as Druid Hills Way except one. Phifer Avenue will be renamed Montford Point Street, honoring the legacy of the first African Americans that enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in 1942. Some Charlotteans were among the early Black recruits who trained at Camp Montford Point near Jacksonville, North Carolina, and contributed to the Allied victory in World War II.
Originally, Phifer Avenue was to be renamed with a similar survey process as Druid Hills Ways, but the fact that the street is expected to be closed for an estimated five years due to redevelopment led to a change in methods.
Man Dies From Shooting After Weeks in Hospital
Two men have died as a result of gun violence in Charlotte since our last News Roundup, making 63 illegal killings in our city so far this year. At around 3:20 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 14, CMPD officers were patrolling in the area of West Sugar Creek Road and Reagan Drive when they heard gunshots. They searched the area and found 18-year-old Jaterrious Moore suffering from a gunshot wound in the parking lot of the Continental Inn Hotel. Officers tried to render aid, but Moore was pronounced dead on the scene by MEDIC. He had turned 18 just five days before his murder.
Homicide detectives have taken over the investigation into a shooting that occurred in south Charlotte in July after 54-year-old Robert Cline succumbed to his injuries this week. Just after 7:15 p.m. on July 29, police responded to a shooting call on Frederick Drive in the Park South area and found Cline suffering from a gunshot wound. MEDIC transported him to the hospital by MEDIC, where he died on Wednesday, Aug. 18. According to a CMPD release, detectives have already spoken with all parties involved and are not currently looking for any additional suspects. No charges have yet been filed.