If for some inexplicable reason you don’t know the story of Quawan Charles, I will fill you in briefly: Quawan “Bobby” Charles was a mild-mannered 15-year-old who went missing from his rural Louisiana home on October 30, 2020. Days after his disappearance (on November 3, Election Day in the U.S.), Charles’ body was found, mutilated, in a sugarcane field 20 miles from his home. The police in Baldwin, Louisiana dragged their feet and missed out on those all-important first 36 hours of a missing person’s case. Law enforcement has continued to fail to act in any meaningful way beyond stating that they are looking into “suspicious circumstances.” They have not named a suspect, but Iberia Parish officials claim they have spoken with two individuals who were last seen with Charles, though these individuals have apparently fled the area.
Quawan Charles’ family released disturbing photos of the young man’s body, calling into question the official autopsy report that states Charles’ injuries were the result of “aquatic activity.”
The case of Quawan Charles reads like something from what much of America would describe as a bygone era. Indeed, he has been regularly aligned with Emmitt Till. It’s not an inaccurate comparison, unfortunately.
On November 13, 2020, activists in New York City held a vigil in honor of the slain teenager. Jamal Taylor, founding member of Stand Black, called in from Louisiana to address the crowd gathered in NYC. These are his words.