Police search Wiener's SF home, offices after death threat

  • by Eric Burkett, Assistant Editor
  • Monday June 13, 2022
Share this Post:
State Senator Scott Wiener. Photo: Courtesy Sen. Wiener's office
State Senator Scott Wiener. Photo: Courtesy Sen. Wiener's office

While death threats aren't anything new to gay state Senator Scott Wiener, they took a decidedly chilling turn June 12 when he received an email telling him bombs had been placed in his home and office.

"We placed bombs in his office and his house," the email read. "You bastards all deserve to die."

Police, using bomb-sniffing dogs, searched the senator's house and offices in San Francisco and Sacramento Sunday morning but turned up nothing.

Both the San Francisco Police Department and California Highway Patrol are investigating the threat, Officer Kathryn Winters, public information officer for SFPD, told the Bay Area Reporter.

"This is an ongoing investigation which is being handled by the California Highway Patrol and the San Francisco Police Department Special Investigations Division, and we work with agencies such as the CHP in response to incidents such as this," Winters said.

While he's received threats before, Wiener, a San Francisco Democrat, said this one was different.

"It's scary, and definitely a first," Wiener told the San Francisco Chronicle Sunday afternoon. "I couldn't go home for a few hours until the bomb-sniffing dogs left."

Wiener told the B.A.R. that incidents like this happen because of his work on behalf of LGBTQ people.

"I've been getting death threats for years as a result of our work to advance the civil rights of LGBTQ people and people living with HIV," Wiener wrote in an email. "I'm not going to stop doing that work no matter what threats people make. This is just another example of the growing attacks we're seeing on LGBTQ people around the country — including this past weekend in Idaho and San Lorenzo. These attacks are a direct result of the hateful, anti-LGBTQ political rhetoric coming from right-wing politicians and activists. Words have consequences."

The day before, in Idaho, police officers arrested 31 people who are believed to be affiliated with the white nationalist group Patriot Front, after they were seen gathering near a Pride parade in the northern city of Coeur d'Alene, CNN reported.

The group was armed with "shields, shin guards and other riot gear with them," along with papers "similar to an operations plan that a police or military group would put together for an event," CNN continued. The arrests were for conspiracy to riot, which is a misdemeanor. The suspects came from 11 different states.

Also on Saturday in the Alameda County city of San Lorenzo, five alleged members of the right-wing extremist group Proud Boys interrupted a drag queen story hour in the local library, which was being hosted by drag queen Panda Dulce. The intruders called Dulce a pedophile among other slurs, and "totally freaked out the kids," she posted on her Instagram account. There were no arrests made in that incident although the Alameda County Sheriff's Office is investigating.

In May, San Francisco-based queer youth organization LYRIC received the second of two bomb threats made against the group in less than a month. That threat was delivered via telephone, and consisted of a recording of a man quoting Leviticus 18:22, the notorious biblical passage that states, "You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination." The line is typically quoted by fundamentalist Christians as a warning to LGBTQ people. A second call followed afterward, with a man's voice stating, "This time it's for real. You all are going to burn." That was followed with 15-20 hang up calls.

Staff and youth evacuated the building while police searched the facility. No bombs were found.

Help keep the Bay Area Reporter going in these tough times. To support local, independent, LGBTQ journalism, consider becoming a BAR member.

Featured Local Savings