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Since announcing in April that trans customers are welcome to use its restrooms, Target has become ground zero in the battle for trans rights. So when police arrested a woman in connection with a bombing in the bathroom of an Evanston, Illinois, store on Wednesday, people questioned whether it was a hate crime.
No one was hurt in the bombing, and the store stayed open through out the attack. According to the Chicago Tribune, detectives took a 44-year-old woman into custody yesterday for questioning, but so far no charges have been filed. “At this point it does not appear to be related to the bathroom policy issues,” Evanston Police Commander Joseph Dugan told CBS News.
Police also revealed that the bomb was most likely a plastic bottle, but contained no projectiles.
Regardless of the police statement, people immediately took to social media to make the connection between the bomber’s actions and terrorism.
A bomb went off in a Target bathroom. The intent was to terrify.
That is terrorism.
Call it what it is, media. Jesus.
— (((Nash))) (@Nash076) June 9, 2016
Even those who don’t support Target’s bathroom policy criticized the attack.
A small bomb went off in the bathroom of a Target store in IL. NO ONE can think this is the way to protest their misguided policies.
— Dr. Michael L. Brown (@DrMichaelLBrown) June 10, 2016
This isn’t the first time a Illinois Target store has come under fire. In early May, Michael Merichko was arrested after going on an anti-trans rant inside a Target store in Bradley. And Target stores across the country have been facing a series of boycotts, threats, and protests from anti-trans rights groups.
Lyz Lenz is currently the managing editor of the Rumpus. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Jezebel, the Columbia Journalism Review, and Mashable.