As a result of several threats made against shops throughout the state as well as five in Ohio after the company’s annual Pride collection generated outrage, a Target in Utah has been evacuated and a bomb squad has been dispatched.
Following numerous bomb threats, a Layton Target at 810 West 2000 North was evacuated. According to KUTV, a K9 unit and a bomb squad were sent to the store at 1pm.
The parking lot was indicated to all employees and clients.
Police reported threats against establishments in Layton, Salt Lake City, Taylorsville, and Provo. After local news stations got letters threatening danger and making reference to the business’s new contentious Pride collection, authorities learned about the threats.
According to Cleveland 19, who received a threatening email citing stores in Stow, North Canton, Boardman, Niles, Ohio, and Monaca, Pennsylvania, five Target locations in Northeast Ohio and Pennsylvania were also threatened.
‘Target is full of [redacted] cowards who turned their back on the LGBT community and decided to cater to homophobic right wing, redneck, bigots, who protested and vandalized their store,’ the email to Cleveland 19 read. ‘We won’t stand idly by as the far right continues to hunt us down.
‘We are sending you a message, we placed a bomb in the following Targets,’ the email continued. ‘We will continue to bomb your Targets until you stop cowering and bring back your LBGT merchandise.
‘We will not be erased, we won’t go quietly.’
Cleveland 19 alerted the FBI and all nearby law enforcement agencies to the menacing email.
According to Layton Police Sergeant John Ottesen, the threats in Utah were made using a “bogus email address.”
This week, Target made a statement stating that several items from their Pride collection would be discontinued.
It happened after a number of irate mothers vented on Twitter and TikTok. The retail behemoth has come under fire in recent weeks from families, especially moms, for stocking transgender apparel, books, and greeting cards.
After a series of ‘tuck friendly’ female swimsuits provoked outrage and confusion, the business issued a statement to insist the suits were only offered in adult sizes.
‘Since introducing this year’s collection, we’ve experienced threats impacting our team members’ sense of safety and wellbeing while at work,’ Target said in a statement.
‘Given these volatile circumstances, we are making adjustments to our plans, including removing items that have been at the center of the most significant confrontational behavior,’ crisis communications manager Kayla Castaneda said.
The business did not say which products were removed from shelves. Online retailers continue to sell many of the bikinis, onesies, and t-shirts that provoked uproar.
Concern over its collaboration with British transgender man Eric Cullen, whose brand Abprallen embraces Satanism, is also mounting.
Target is selling two of the brand’s items – a $25 slogan sweater with the words ‘cure transphobia not trans people’ wrapped around a sword, an $18 ‘too queer for here’ tote bag, and a ‘we belong everywhere’ fanny pack that now appears to be sold out.
Self identified transgender man Eric enthusiastically uploaded pictures of the collaboration to Instagram, saying, ‘These have already got the transphobes infuriated with me and I feel like quite the celebrity to think that they believe this is all some big conspiracy and I have any power to brainwash anyone when I’m just some guy drawing pictures!’
A closer look at his other work reveals some more sinister material.
Badges with slogans like ‘Satan Respects Pronouns’, ‘Young, Queer and Willing’ and a lighter pin with the words ‘burn down the cis-tem’ are among other products.
He also models the ‘Satan respects pronouns’ t-shirt on an Instagram page while wearing BDSM-style horns and no pants.