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Man protesting Target's bathroom policy causes 'panic' at IL store, gets arrested

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A man protesting Target's bathroom policy was arrested at an Illinois store after police say his actions caused "panic" among employees and customers.

Officers were at the Bradley Target around lunch time Monday on a report of an "active shooter," and encountered the man outside the store, according to the Bradley Police Department's news release.

He was arrested without incident, did not have a weapon, and there's no indication shots were fired, police say. Why it initially got reported as an "active shooter" situation, the police don't know yet, but they're looking into it.

Police found the man was there to protest Target's bathroom policy (allowing people to use the restroom of the gender they identify with), and he was charged with disorderly conduct after his actions caused "panic" among customers and employees, police said.

He did not ever threaten to shoot anybody, they added.

The boycott over Target's policy

Last month, Target publicly talked about its bathroom policy (which the company says isn't new, just a reiteration of what they've done for awhile).

This did not go over well with some people, including the group American Family Association, which called for a boycott of the retailer. They argue the bathroom policy puts women and girls in danger.

More than 1.1 million people have signed the petition saying they would do so.

One solution being offered: Have single-occupancy unisex bathrooms at stores.

All this comes as lawmakers around the country – including in Minnesotadebated or in some cases approved bills that require people to use the bathroom that corresponds to their biological sex.

Supporters argue it's a public safety issue. Opponents though say it's an attack on the trans community.

It's 'the right thing for Target'

But shortly after that petition was launched, Target told BringMeTheNews the company "firmly stands behind" its policy of inclusion, saying it's "the right thing for Target."

The company's spokesperson, Molly Snyder, also noted restrooms are located in highly visible areas, and the store's themselves are full of well-lit spaces and surveillance cameras.

Snyder added several hundred Target stores do in fact have single-stall restrooms for guests to use if that’s a more comfortable option.

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