Bomb Threat Forces HRC, Other LGBT Groups to Evacuate
In Washington, D.C. on Tuesday, the Human Rights Campaign and other leading LGBT rights organizations were evacuated after police in Los Angeles received a bomb threat from an anonymous caller.
“Early this morning about 8 AM [PST] our LAPD 911 Dispatch Center received a call from a caller who stated he was going to blow up the LGBT building in Washington, D.C.,” the Los Angeles Police Department said in a statement, according to the Washington Blade.
“LAPD immediately made notification to law enforcement officials in Washington, D.C. to advise them of the possible threat,” the LAPD’s statement continued. “We also immediately launched an investigation here into the threat since it appeared to have been generated by a local pay phone.”
Police in D.C. quickly alerted the HRC, which operates out of its own building at 1640 Rhode Island Ave., N.W., as well as organizations located at two neighboring buildings.
In all, employees from at least 11 national LGBT rights groups were evacuated around noon EST, including the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, the National Center for Transgender Equality, the National Stonewall Democrats, the National Coalition for LGBT Health and the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce.
An HRC spokesperson, Michael Cole-Schwartz, said the evacuation of the HRC building lasted approximately one hour. A special D.C. Police unit scoured the building with bomb-sniffing dogs and determined there was no present danger.
The other organizations had been evacuated as a measure of extra precaution. “We were given the all clear signal a short time later,” Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, told the Blade.
“We don’t know all the details yet. But reasonable people don’t oppose LGBT equality anymore,” Vincent Villano, a NCTE staffer, told the Washington City Paper. “It’s not unreasonable to expect unreasonable people to react unreasonably.”
Photo credit: Eugene Zemlyanskiy (Creative Commons Attribution License)