NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - Mayor Mitch Landrieu's office said Thursday that it has turned over evidence to authorities after death threats were made to a city contractor hired to remove four Confederate-era monuments.
In a letter to the city, the attorney for H&O Investments claimed that in addition to the death threats, his client was told by other businesses that they would pull out of existing contracts with H&O if its workers finished the job. The threats caused H&O to back out of the contract to remove the Robert E. Lee, P.G.T. Beauregard, Jefferson Davis and Liberty Place monuments.
The company claims the threats came via social media, telephone and in person. H&O's lawyer said all pertinent information has been turned over to law enforcement.
"I would guess that most of them are just talk, unfortunate talk, and criminal by conveying threats. But I suspect most of the threats would be empty and people wouldn't really carry them out - but you never know," Loyola Criminologist George Capowich said.
Capowich said those who made the threats could face charges.
"There could be jail time, fine,s a number of things like that, depending on the seriousness," Capowich said. "Without knowing the content of the threats and that sort of thing, it would probably be a misdemeanor, but that still carries up to a year in jail and fines."
H&O's attorney said the company has no political stance on the issue and was simply doing a job. The contractor is one of several businesses that has a job order contract with the City of New Orleans.
"Somebody is going to fill that space eventually, and eventually these things are going to come down," said Michael "Quess" Moore, who is one of the many leading the charge for the monuments' removal. "Of course, it was going to get to this point. A sickness in its final stages always shows some of the worst of its symptoms."
"When I see something like that, I think about how great our country is, and how it came through something like the Civil War, and we're still going," Marvis Kelley said.
Kelley would like to see the monuments stay, but he also believes the death threats are a step too far.