The death of 15-year-old Quawan “Bobby” Charles has all the markings of a modern-day lynching according to his family — who say the case reminds them of the Emmett Till tragedy.
The Black teenager’s body was found in a sugar cane field in Louisiana on November 3 after he’d been reported missing on October 30. Although the Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office has said it’s investigating the “suspicious circumstances” of his death, it has not released many details.
Cops did tell Quawan’s family that he drowned and water was found in his lungs. His family, including his cousin, Celina Charles, calls that explanation “bogus” … saying Quawan’s terribly disfigured face tells a much different story.
Quawan’s mother, Roxanne Nelson, chose to release a photo of his face — apparently taken at the morgue — which bears a tragic resemblance to Till … the 14-year-old who was lynched in Mississippi in 1955, and whose horrific death helped spark the Civil Rights movement.
An autopsy has reportedly been performed on Quawan, but the Sheriff’s Office says results could take up to 12 weeks. Quawan’s family says it has not seen preliminary results nor a police report.
Quawan’s family claims cops dropped the ball from the start, when he was reported missing to the Baldwin Police Dept. on Oct. 30. Quawan’s family attorney says the cops gave no indication they were actively looking for him, and instead suggested he might have just gone to a football game.
According to the family, they discovered on their own that Quawan had been picked up on the day of his disappearance by a 17-year-old white friend and his mother … but Quawan’s family claims it does not know this family and did not give them permission to take him.
The family reportedly confirmed they picked up Quawan because the kids wanted to hang out, but say Quawan later left alone.
Quawan’s family and civil rights advocates believe racial bias played into law enforcement’s delayed investigation, and Quawan’s mother wants more answers from the white family that last saw him alive.
So far, no suspects have been named in the case and it has not been designated as a homicide.
Quawan’s family has launched a Gofundme to conduct an independent autopsy and help cover costs of investigating his death.