Bogalusa mayor & supporters respond to death threat

Published 2:30 pm Thursday, March 30, 2023

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BOGALUSA — During a press conference Thursday morning, Bogalusa Mayor Tyrin Truong addressed a social media death threat that contained racial undertones. 

The threat, received this week via Facebook and directed at Truong, read: “yeah, the mayor better watch it because he ain’t too far from Lake Pontchartrain. When he gets off in the evening, he might be taking a little ride.”

  The threat alludes to “how Black men’s bodies were dumped in bodies of water in the south by terrorists decades ago,” Truong said during the press conference. 

“Violence of any kind has no place in a civil society,” Truong said.

 “The threat of violence simply for doing your job is unacceptable. If you want to come to a council meeting and throw a tantrum, if you want to post on a Facebook group to complain, be my guest, but once you threaten bodily harm to another person, you’ve gone too far,” he said.

A police report was filed with the Bogalusa Police Department and the district attorney’s office, and the Louisiana State Police have opened an investigation. “Threatening an elected official is a crime under Revised Statutes Title-14,” Truong said. 

Bogalusa Acting Assistant Chief of Police Troy Tervelon said that on Wednesday the police department was made aware of the threat against Truong posted on social media.

The Bogalusa Police Department takes all threats seriously no matter who they are made to,” Tervelon said. “We plan on looking into every aspect of this threat and leaving no stone unturned until the investigation is complete.”

He thanked the citizens for their recent support of the department, adding that he felt community relations had improved. 

Also on hand was Washington Parish NAACP President Raymond Tate. Tate said the NAACP has been in contact with the chief since hearing about the threat and that they are there for cooperation.

“We stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the administration to move the city forward. Get on board or get off at the next exit ramp. This is what the NAACP is here to do, to support the administration and the change that’s going to come about. It’s not going to be easy; it’s not going to be swift,” said Tate.

Washington Parish NAACP Vice President Rhonda Arinde expressed the need to unify together in this city.

President and founder of the community action organization Joel Miller asked the community to pray for Truong, his staff and his family.

“He’s doing an excellent job here,” Miller said. “He’s fighting corruption that’s been going on for decades.”

City Attorney Kelvin May also offered support for Truong and commended him for doing a good job. May said, “His work has been exemplary and city hall and this administration will not be bullied nor intimidated.”

Additional security measures will be implemented at City Hall, such as a security camera system, swipe card system and metal detectors at the entrances.

 “Threats like these derive from constant lies, misinformation and propaganda. We must all do what we can to ensure that these elements don’t thrive in the city, especially through social media groups,” said Truong.

L’Observateur News Editor Brooke R. Cantrelle contributed to this report.