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Davis

Davis, California

Monday, February 26, 2024

Local authorities, FBI investigate second and third bomb threat made to Mary L. Stephens Yolo County Library in Davis

A shelter-in-place was conducted for Davis Senior High School and the North Davis Elementary School in response to the threat

 

By CHRIS PONCE — city@theaggie.org

 

On Monday morning, at 10:06 a.m., Davis Police were alerted of another bomb threat made to the Mary L. Stephens Library. This comes one week after the first bomb threat which was made one day after a heated Yolo County Moms for Liberty event that was held at the library. The Yolo County Sheriff’s Office confirmed in a recent Facebook post that there have been three total bomb threats made to the library and each threat was related to the controversial event.

The Yolo County Mary L. Stephens Davis Branch Library has been targeted by three bomb threats in recent days,” the Yolo County Sheriff’s Department said in the post. “The initial threat came right after a heated meeting held at the library. These messages share a common thread of hateful content and revolve around the mentioned meeting.”

In a recent recorded Facebook update from the Davis Police Department, Lieutenant Dan Beckwith with Davis Police Department said each threat contained similar hateful messaging.

“The Yolo County Mary L. Stephens Davis Branch Library has received three bomb threats over the past week,” Beckwith said in the update. “The first took place the day following a contentious meeting at the library. The messages have all been similiar, containing hateful messaging and are regarding the meeting that took place at the library.”

It is unclear if the suspect or suspects are affiliated with Yolo County Moms for Liberty or any other local political organization but according to authorities, each threat made some reference to the event linked to the group. Beth Bourne, chair of Yolo County Moms for Liberty, has denounced the bomb threats and believes that the suspect or suspects are not involved with her organization. 

“The threats of violence made toward the Mary L. Stephens Davis Branch Library and its staff are appalling,” Bourne shared in a press statement via email. “We are deeply disheartened to learn of these threats and how it disrupts and jeopardizes the safety of the community. The response to speech that you disagree with is always more speech. Violence is never the appropriate response. Any news reporting that would imply our organizations are in any way associated with or responsible for these threats is wrong and maliciously inaccurate.”

Anoosh Jorjorian, director of Yolo Rainbow Families, believes that right-wing media runs on outrage and that Yolo County Moms for Liberty has been providing aid for that outrage by sharing videos from local events to right-wing media outlets. Jorjorian believes that there is a pattern between right-wing organizations and political violence and threats, but that the answer for who is responsible for these threats is more complicated.

“‘Are they [Yolo County Moms for Liberty] responsible for what happens when people are in fact outraged?’ According to our courts, they’re not,” Jorjorian said. “And yet we have seen in other cases how people have been targeted, people have been threatened, sometimes people have died. We have seen patterns like this. It is impossible to ignore that the vast majority of identity motivated violence comes from one side of the political spectrum.”

According to Beckwith, police are in communication with local schools as many are in close proximity to the library. On Monday, the Davis Joint Unified School District announced that two schools had to shelter in place due to the incident. 

Jorjorian shared how personal these threats have been because they have two children in the Davis school system, one of whom had to shelter in place.

“I had to send my child a text today saying that I had heard about the shelter-in-place, and to reassure him that I’m sure he’s going to be fine,” Jorjorian shared. “And I resent, as a parent, having to send that text. And I know there are many parents who have had that experience because of mass shootings for example. And in a lot of cases, those parents don’t know their kids are going to be okay. And so even though I felt that risk to my child was, in reality, relatively low, it does something to you emotionally.”

The library has currently been deemed safe by Davis Police. While Yolo County Sheriffs continue to investigate, they announced on Facebook that they will collaborate with the FBI to pinpoint the suspect or suspects. 

“It’s clear that these threats are meant to disrupt and intimidate our community, particularly affecting the library’s functioning,” the Yolo County Sheriff’s Department said on Facebook. “Despite these acts of intimidation, we stand firm in our support for the library, its dedicated staff, and the individuals who utilize its services, along with those attending the nearby schools.”

 

This story is developing, check back for updates. Last updated: Aug. 30, (4:23 p.m.)

 

Written By: Chris Ponce city@theaggie.org