Target faces bomb threats amid LGBTQ+ controversy

Several targeted locations evacuated staff and customers on Friday after bomb threats were received at select stores across the country as controversy over the company’s LGBTQ+ merchandise escalated.

CBS News affiliate WOIO in Cleveland, Ohio, received an email at 12:26 p.m. Friday warning of bombs being placed at five different target locations near the city. According to a screenshot of the email, which was. published The threat, from the outlet, was made in response to Target’s decision to pull its LGBTQ+ Pride collection from its shelves earlier this week.

“Target is filled with cowards who turned their backs on the LGBT community and decided to cater to the homophobic right-wing redneck bigots who protested and vandalized their store,” read the email. . “We will not stand idly by as the far right hunts us down.”

The Target logo is displayed on shopping carts outside a Target store on January 15, 2020 in San Francisco, California. Several Target locations were evacuated Friday after receiving bomb threats in response to a controversy surrounding the company’s LGBTQ+ collection.
Justin Sullivan/Getty

WOIO staff contacted local police departments as well as the Cleveland FBI regarding the threatening letter. According to one release From the Jackson Township Police Department, police dispatch received calls around 12:40 a.m. WOIO and WEWS, ABC News affiliates in Cleveland, regarding a possible bomb threat at a target in their county.

Jackson Township officers evacuated and searched the store with a bomb-sniffing dog from the Stark Country Sheriff’s Office. According to one Reports From Repository In Canton, Ohio, no bomb was found at the location and store operations resumed around 3:15 p.m.

Threats were also made at four other targeted locations in Boardman, Ohio, Niles, Ohio, and Monaca, Pennsylvania, WOIO reported.

Separate threats were made to multiple target locations in Utah as well, reports the CBS News affiliate KUTVIncluding stores in Layton, Salt Lake, Taylorsville and Provo. According to Layton Police Sergeant John Otteson, who was quoted in the KUTV report, officers began investigating after receiving emails alerting two local news stations of bomb threats.

The threatening email, which consisted of three sentences, referenced Target’s Pride collection and was allegedly sent from a “bogus email address,” Ottesen said.

“The safety of our team members and guests is our top priority,” a Target spokesperson said. Newsweek Friday when asked about recent bomb threats. “Law enforcement investigated these claims and determined that our stores are safe. Our stores are currently open and operating regularly.”

Target decided to remove the proud merchandise from its storefronts after the company received widespread backlash and calls for boycotts. Oh release The company said on Wednesday that the choice was made after it “faced threats affecting our team members’ sense of safety and well-being while at work.”

The company is one of several that have recently been targeted by conservative groups for supporting the LGBTQ+ community. The first mass boycott calls came in April after Anhisor-Bush sent Dylan Mulvaney a commemorative can for transgender influence.

Earlier this week, conservative Colorado Rep. Lauren Bobert also called for a boycott against The North Face over its ad campaign featuring a drag queen. Representative Marjorie Taylor Green of Georgia has also joined calls for a boycott of the company.

Update 5/26/23 7:22 pm ET: This story has been updated with additional comments from Target.

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