Disclaimer: All persons are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

DELHI, La. (KTVE/KARD) – The Delhi Police Department is investigating a noose found at Delhi High School. According to Delhi Police Department Chief Roy Williams, Richland Parish School Board Superintendent Sheldon Jones called him about an incident at Delhi High School on June 21, 2022, around 9:30 a.m.

Chief Williams called Delhi High School Principal Ramona Drungo, who told him a custodian found a tied noose on the auditorium stage. According to Chief Williams, several contractors are currently renovating Delhi High School, its football field and its field house. Chief Williams also reported the auditorium was not locked when the incident happened.

Chief Williams confirmed a student was not involved in this incident.

“I am doing a report at this time, so I can turn it over to the District Attorney’s Office to see if there was an intent to do this purposely and if so, we will be going forward with charges,” Chief Williams said. “It’s going to be a hate crime.”

According to Richland Parish District Attorney Penny Douciere, the possible crime a suspect may be charged with under these circumstances is related to Louisiana Revised Statute 14:40.5. (Public display of a noose on (the) property of another or public place; intent to intimidate). It states whoever commits the crime shall not be fined more than $5,000 or imprisoned with or without hard labor for not more than one year or both if convicted. 

Chief Williams interviewed the principal, custodian and contractors about the investigation. Chief Williams graduated from Delhi High School in 1987.

“It hurts to see something like that in the school that you pretty much grew up in and graduated from,” Chief Williams said. “But still, I have to maintain my professionalism and do this by the book. Sometimes in this job you just got to put your personal feelings aside and do what’s right.”

According to Chief Williams, the school deactivated all its surveillance cameras because of the renovations.

On the morning of Tuesday, June 21, 2022, I received a phone call from the administration of Delhi High School informing me of the discovery of a noose on campus. I immediately contacted Delhi Police Chief Roy Williams. A meeting with Chief Williams, school officials, central office administration, board members, and subcontractor was held at the school site. Representatives of the school and district are fully cooperating with law enforcement officials during the investigation. The Richland Parish School Board does not condone any actions of harassment or discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, religion or veteran status.

Richland Parish School Board Superintendent Sheldon Jones

As of Wednesday, June 29, Delhi Police Department is still looking for the person responsible. We will continue to update you as the investigation continues.