Cultural centers

University of Utah police investigate Black Cultural Center bomb threat

The threat comes after a series of other racist incidents at the Salt Lake City school.

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) People walking through the University of Utah Salt Lake City campus on Monday, January 10, 2022. A bomb threat was issued against the Black Cultural Center campus the next day.

A bomb threat against the University of Utah’s Black Cultural Center on Tuesday heightened concerns and fear at school after a spate of other recent racist acts on campus.

The threat was investigated by US police after receiving a call, based in California, indicating that a bomb had been planted in the center part of Fort Douglas in the eastern part of the campus. Officers searched the building at 4:25 am with bomb sniffer dogs.

No devices were found, police said, and the building has been secured. No one was inside at the time.

In a statement, campus police said they were continuing to investigate “deliberately but also urgently” to determine who made the threat and “hold them accountable.”

An alert was sent to all students and staff on Tuesday afternoon after determining that no one was in immediate danger.

He said, “The University of Utah is no safe haven for these kinds of hateful and biased thoughts and attacks. … This attack on the safety of our Black students, faculty, and staff requires sensitivity, compassion, and timely action.

The threat in the United States follows similar bomb threats across the country last week at eight historically black colleges and universities, including Howard University in Washington, DC and Xavier University in Louisiana. These triggered evacuations and confinements. No explosion occurred.

The Black Cultural Center in the United States did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Campus police said they alerted the school’s racist and biased incident response team.

The notification comes after the university admitted to previously failing to involve the team in its responses to other racist incidents in recent months – responses that University of Utah President Taylor Randall , said the school should have been better run.

These incidents involved a report that a group of men entered a dormitory dressed like the KKK, wearing white hooded robes, in early October, and a second incident a month earlier, when a black student reported a substance that appeared to be smeared with excrement. on the door of their dormitory in the same building.

Both incidents gained attention after a Salt Lake City University student posted about them on Instagram, wondering why they still hadn’t been addressed months after they happened.

– The Salt Lake Tribune will update this developing story.