About the disappearance and death of Quawan Charles

About the disappearance and death of Quawan Charles

Photo: Karla Ann Cote/Nurphoto/Getty Images
On Oct. 30, 2020, Quawan “Bobby” Charles, a 15-year-old Black American boy, disappeared from his father’s home in Baldwin, Louisiana. Four days later, on Nov. 3, his body was found dead and beaten in a sugarcane field by the Iberia Parish police in Loreauville, Louisiana, 20 miles away from his home. 
 
“The death and disappearances of Black Americans are occurring too often and authorities are doing very little to handle this issue,” freshman Aurelie Alce said. “They are mostly, if not always, racially motivated, which is most likely the main reason change and justice for the families affected is scarce.”  
 
Charles’ parents were told by the sheriff’s office that their son had died due to drowning because of the water that was found in his lungs. Despite this statement, however, Charles’ parents themselves do not believe this. They thought that the disappearance and death of their son was racially-motivated. The photos taken of the 15-year-old didn’t just show him dead: they also showed his face disfigured. Additionally, when Charles’ parents initially reported that their son was missing, law enforcement didn’t take the report seriously and therefore failed to act. 
 
“It is so known for the law enforcement to dismiss things when it comes to someone who is a minority, and I can’t even say I’m shocked,” senior Sarai Reuben said. “Law enforcement is acting this way because it’s been allowed for so many years and they know that there’s so many things they can get away with without any consequences.” 
 
According to Charles’ family, they learned through a third party that Charles was last seen with a white mother and son from the neighboring Iberia Parish: Janet Irvin and 17-year-old Gavin Irvin, who was also Charles’ friend. The Irvins picked up Charles at 3 p.m. on the day he was reported missing while Kenneth Rocko, Charles’ father, was at a store. 
 
On Nov. 17, video footage released by Baldwin police shows Charles outside his father’s home when a car pulls into the driveway and Charles runs towards the car. Two figures emerge out of the car, and eventually, three figures go back in the car, driving out of sight. These two figures are presumed to be the Irvins. 
 
A GoFundMe campaign was created by family representatives Andre Arceneaux and Celina Charles, who are seeking justice. The investigation of Charles’ death is still underway. 
 
“It’s scary,” junior Nithyaraajitha Lokesh said. “It’s horrible that Black Americans have to be cautious wherever they go, and this needs to improve. It’s infuriating, and so many people turn a blind eye to injustice being done to minorities.”