The Salt Lake City Police Department evacuated The King’s English Bookstore and closed off surrounding roads on Sunday following a bomb threat. Authorities received information about a suspicious circumstance at the bookstore, which was treated as a bomb threat. A Salt Lake City Police airport division K-9 team evacuated the building and blocked off roads in the area. After an investigation, police determined there was no threat to the community. The incident is currently under investigation.
The King’s English Bookstore had a drag queen storytelling event scheduled for Sunday morning, which has faced protests from far-right activists in recent months. Calvin Crosby, a co-owner of the bookstore, expressed disappointment over the incident and emphasized the importance of promoting diversity and providing access to books for children.
Tara Lipsyncki, a drag performer scheduled to read at the event, referred to the threat as an act of domestic terrorism and vowed to continue advocating for a safe society. Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall condemned the bomb threat and pledged to work with the bookstore to reschedule the event.
This incident occurs amidst a series of threats and attacks targeting LGBTQ individuals and spaces across the country. Recent incidents include the stabbing death of O’Shae Sibley in Brooklyn, the shooting of Laura Ann Carleton in California, and bomb threats made to libraries and schools in several states.
The surge in anti-LGBTQ demonstrations, with a particular focus on drag events, has been observed nationwide. According to a report by the Crowd Counting Consortium, there has been a significant increase in anti-LGBTQ protests since June 2022, with 46% specifically targeting drag events.
The Salt Lake City bomb threat highlights the ongoing challenges faced by LGBTQ communities and the need for continued efforts to ensure inclusivity and safety for all individuals.