A Target store in Sacramento, California, was evacuated due to a bomb threat on Saturday morning. The Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department told the media that the incident began at about 10:30 a.m. PST on May 14, when deputies got a call that there was a bomb in the Target store. The Target location in question also reportedly got a similar call.
Authorities say that the Target location was evacuated in a “calm and orderly” manner following the bomb threat, and evacuated customers and employees were given water as they waited for the threat to pass and the building to be cleared.
Deputies said that they did a “full sweep” of the Target building, reports KCRA 3. No suspicious devices were found at the evacuated Target following the bomb threat, according to police and media reports. Authorities report that the bomb threat was non-specific, and no injuries were reported as a result of the incident. After the building was cleared, customers and employees were allowed back in the store.
The entire bomb threat-related Target evacuation incident lasted no more than a couple of stressful hours, and while it was non-specific, it occurred following weeks of Target dominating the media. In late April, Target announced a new transgender-friendly bathroom policy that has resulted in public backlash and a huge boycott of the nation’s second-largest retailer.
Conservative groups and activists have gathered more than a million signatures on their #BoycottTarget pledge, and threats have been made on social media. One conservative activist, with ties to The Liberty Counsel, has pledged to use Target bathrooms armed with her Glock, saying that it “identifies as my bodyguard.” The “Christian lawyer” announced her plans on Twitter, and responses varied from supportive to fearful of the danger it posed.
Liberty Counsel president says she's taking her gun into Target bathrooms to protect herself… https://t.co/nshiqru4ww
— kc wildmoon (@wildmoon) April 26, 2016
Target has vowed to continue with its new transgender-inclusive bathroom policy, despite the boycott. The announcement was made by the company’s CEO at the end of last week, and it could be seen as more than a coincidence that just days later a Target store was shut down due to a bomb threat.
Target stores aren’t the only places that members of the trans community are being made fearful of using public bathrooms. The entire state of North Carolina is fighting to keep transsexual individuals from using the public restroom they identify with, and is even caught up in federal litigation due to backlash from the Obama Administration. In North Carolina, as in Target stores, conservatives have voiced the threat of potential violence in response to co-ed bathrooms.
At least one North Carolina school district responded to the Obama Administration’s warning that the state’s anti-trans legislation is illegal by voting to allow students to carry pepper spray in at school. The purpose? To protect against “potential attacks” by transgender students using a bathroom that doesn’t match their biological gender.
Americans are legitimately insane.
Seriously, what is wrong with your society that it is this hateful and bigoted?https://t.co/VQiodN6Y6x
— Punchケツ割り箸 (@mfwshirodere) May 14, 2016
The State of Texas has jumped into the fray, too, with that state’s governor promising to help North Carolina fight the feds as well as vowing anti-trans legislation of its own next year. Following Target’s announcement of its trans-inclusive bathroom policy, the State of Texas demanded that the retail chain submit a “safety policy” to state regulators.
While the California Target bomb threat this morning appears to have been nothing more than smoke and mirrors, it has once again put the retail chain in the national spotlight. It also begs the question “Is the Target bathroom policy compromising safety?” Not the safety of women and children by the trans community, but rather the safety of all shoppers and employees by those protesting the trans-inclusive, anti-discriminatory bathroom policy.
Many social media users have hit the Facebook comments section to speculate that the Target bomb threat was called in by one of the #BoycottTarget supporters.
“I bet it’s one of the people who try to boycott target!!!”
“It’s the pee protesters!”
The investigation into the Sacramento Target bomb threat/hoax is just beginning. Authorities are staying mum regarding a motive, and it’s possible that we’ll never know who called in the bomb threat or why.
What do you think? Was today’s Target bomb threat connected to the store’s bathroom policy publicity, or was it just a coincidence?
[Image Courtesy Of Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]