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5 Things To Know: Republican National Convention Moves to Jacksonville

June 6 - 13, 2020

Republican National Convention
Florida Man takes his ball and goes home. (Photo by Gage Skidmore)

Trump Moves RNC Acceptance Speech to Jacksonville

After recent back-and-forth public disputes with Gov. Roy Cooper over safety precautions at the Republican National Convention in late August, President Donald Trump and the Republican National Committee (RNC) announced on Thursday that they will move Trump’s formal acceptance of the party’s nomination in Jacksonville, Florida, rather than in Charlotte as planned. 

“We are thrilled to celebrate this momentous occasion in the great city of Jacksonville,” RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said in a statement. “Not only does Florida hold a special place in President Trump’s heart as his home state, but it is crucial in the path to victory in 2020. We look forward to bringing this great celebration and economic boon to the Sunshine State in just a few short months.”

The Republican National Convention, which was originally planned to take place in Charlotte between Aug 24-27 and draw 50,000 people to the city, will now bring 336 delegates to the Queen City to conduct official business on Monday, Aug. 24, before heading to Jacksonville to join thousands of other delegates for three days of celebrations and speeches. Those celebrations include the convention’s headline event, Trump’s acceptance of the nomination. 

In a June 2 letter to McDaniel and Republican National Convention President Marcia Kelly, Cooper responded to the RNC and Trump’s demands for a guarantee that a full convention would be allowed. “With the Nation, the State of North Carolina and the City of Charlotte still under states of emergency it’s important to conduct the RNC convention accordingly,” Cooper wrote. “As much as we want the conditions surrounding COVID-19 to be favorable enough for you to hold the Convention you describe in late August, it is very unlikely. Neither public health officials nor I will risk the health and safety of North Carolinians by providing the guarantee you seek.” 

Mecklenburg County Sees Startling Increases in COVID-19 Stats

Stats released on Friday by the Mecklenburg County Public Health (MCPH) department would back up Cooper’s claim that allowing a mass gathering on the level of the Republican National Convention in late August would be “highly unlikely,” as the county has seen some of the highest increases in COVID-19 cases since the pandemic reached Mecklenburg in March. 

At a press conference on Friday afternoon, MCPH director Gibbie Harris stated that the county has seen a triple-digit increase in cases on each of the last 11 days, including one day that saw 250 new cases. The percentage of people who have received positive test results has increased to 10% and the number of county residents hospitalized due to COVID-19 on average has increased to 101 people on any given day. 


MCPH has significantly ramped up testing, Gibbie said, reaching its goal of testing 5% of the population in 30 days. The county is currently testing around 2,000 people a day, she added. Earlier this week, state health officials added recent attendance at a protest as one reason to get tested, and Novant Health, Atrium Health and CVS pharmacies have all added that as a criteria for asymptomatic people who want to get tested. Harris asked that people who have attended any mass gathering, be it church or a protest, get themselves tested for the virus. Later on Friday, the county also launched a new COVID-19 testing site locator for those who want to get tested.  

County Seeks Applications for COVID Recovery Task Force

Even as things begin to ramp up again concerning COVID-19 cases, the county is still looking ahead to life after the coronavirus. On Wednesday, the county announced it has begun seeking applications for the COVID-19 Recovery and Renewal Task Force, established by the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) on June 2. The 23-member Task Force was created to address the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in Mecklenburg County, according to a press release.

“The Task Force will examine and help address COVID-19 impact issues that are specific to employees, businesses, public health, education, the economy, and the overall well-being of the residents in Mecklenburg County,” the release stated. It specified that county commissioners are looking for task force members who have experience in providing access to health care, eliminating health disparities, mental and emotional health, economic recovery, help for small business, non-profit recovery, human services, education, childcare, assisting working families and vulnerable populations, housing and homelessness, jobs and workforce development, addressing food security, and arts and culture.  

The task force will develop a comprehensive Recovery and Renewal Plan of Action — or a limited series of plans — to be presented and recommended to the Mecklenburg BOCC for approval and action. Applicants must reside in Mecklenburg County and are asked to submit an application and resume by Friday, June 19, to be considered for nomination on June 23. 

Danquirs Franklin’s Family Files Suit Against City and Officer Who Killed Him

Deborah Franklin, the mother of Danquirs Franklin who was shot and killed by CMPD officer Wende Kerl in 2019, filed a wrongful death lawsuit on Friday against the city of Charlotte and Kerl, claiming negligence by Kerl during the incident and by the city and department in training her. It also claims that Danquirs Franklin’s Fourth Amendment rights were violated. 

Danquirs Franklin
A still from Wende Kerl’s body camera footage.

Kerl shot Franklin on March 25, 2019, outside of a Burger King on Beatties Ford Road. Later in the year, the district attorney and state bureau of investigations decided not to press charges against Kerl. In February of this year, Charlotte’s Citizens Review Board voted unanimously that CMPD erred in its handling of the case. Friday’s suit claims that Franklin was following orders to put down his gun when Kerl shot him.

Total Number of Homicides This Year Reaches 40

Two men died this week from injuries sustained in shootings that occurred in previous incidents, and another man was shot and killed, bringing the total number of murders in Charlotte this year to 40. 

Ahmad Kadir

On Tuesday, 21-year-old Ahmad Kadir succumbed to injuries he suffered when he was shot outside of a home on Neuhoff Lane in the Cheshunt neighborhood of north Charlotte in the early morning hours of Saturday, June 6. Police are still investigating his murder. On Wednesday, 44-year-old Marcel Harrington died of gunshot wounds he suffered from in a shooting on Rumple Road in the Mineral Springs area of north Charlotte on May 24. No arrests have been made. 

At around 9:40 p.m. on Wednesday, police responded to Skyland Avenue in the Grier Heights neighborhood of southeast Charlotte and found 28-year-old Marcus Withers suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. He was brought to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead. No arrests have been made for his murder. 

Marcus Withers

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