City Downtown Bomb Threat
I was bopping around downtown around 2 pm when I ran into a police blockade set up at First Avenue and Columbia Street. I asked an officer directing traffic what the deal was, and he said they were dealing with a “situation.”
What sort of situation?
“A moderate situation that might develop into serious. Move along, please.”
There were police vehicles and a police presence for roughly four square blocks, encompassing First and Second Avenue, and Marion St. and Columbia St. A black SWAT vehicle also appeared to be parked on the curb. Police tape was everywhere.
The next officer I approached refused to chat with me, but a camera man setting next to him told me that a “suspicious package” had been found in the area. He didn’t know where the package had been found, of if someone had tipped off the police. He hypothesized that a bomb threat had been called in.
I followed the detour and began snapping photos. Another officer stopped me and asked me what I was doing. In turn, I asked him if he could give me any more details on the situation.
“Are you with the press?” he asked.
“I work for The Stranger,” I replied.
“Do you have any credentials?” he asked skeptically.
“Nope. I have a passport and some chap stick, though.”
“I need you to erase that picture and move along.”
“Can you tell me if this suspicious package was found, or if someone called in a bomb threat?”
“Erase the photo and move along.”
He seemed angry (and his lips appeared quite thin and chapped), so I didn’t argue with him (or offer him chap stick).
I obediently “erased” my photo, walked up to First and Marion, and snapped a few more, where a friendlier officer’s moist, full lips confirmed that it was a bomb threat, and told me to scoot. So I did.
Here are the photos: