Man protesting Target transgender bathroom policy sparks ‘active shooter’ lockdown
A man protesting Target’s policy on transgender people triggered a lockdown and sparked an armed police response, after he was mistaken for a shooter.
More than a million people people have joined a boycott of the superstore in recent weeks, after the store confirmed that transgender people were able to use their preferred bathroom.
It comes after Target confirmed it “welcomes transgender team members and guests to use the restroom or fitting room facility that corresponds with their gender identity.”
One man protesting the policy decided to cause disruption inside his own local Target over the policy this week – sparking a lockdown after he was mistaken for a shooter.
39-year-old Michael L Merichko had entered the Target in Bradley, Illinois, where he caused a disturbance and terrified shoppers.
However, police wrongly processed the incident as shots fired within the store, sparking a heavy officer response.
Attending the scene, they found that Merichko was not an armed threat, arresting him for breach of the peace.
A police statement confirms: “The Bradley Police Department responded along with several neighbouring jurisdictions. A subject was confronted outside the store and taken into custody without incident. There is no indication of any shots fired and no weapon has been recovered.
The Bradley Police Department has arrested Michael L Merichko.”
Police confirmed that Merichko has been charged with disorderly conduct and transported to the Jerome Combs Detention Center.
The police statement adds: “Merichko’s actions provoked a breach of the peace causing panic among store employees and customers.
“We are still looking into how the call came out as an active shooter.”
The activist has previously ranted online about Target’s policies: