Looking Into The Death Of 15-Year-Old Quawan Charles

bushel of flowers on steps
William Anderson
November 3, 2022

When 15-year-old Quawan Charles went missing on October 30, 2020, from his father’s home in Baldwin, Louisiana, the police did NOT take the issue seriously. In the face of a Black child’s disappearance, cops were nonchalant.

But when his body was found on November 3rd, there were still LOTS of unanswered questions.

Gruesome images circulating online of Quawan’s body soon drew comparisons to Emmett Till. Quawan was found in a sugarcane field 20 miles from home. Authorities said he drowned, but of course, there was more to the story.

Quawan’s face was BADLY disfigured. His family learned that he’d been with a white friend and his mother, Janet Irvin, before his death. But this white family didn’t have permission to pick up Quawan!

Quawan’s death was eventually investigated as a homicide, but family attorneys pointed out that authorities did NOT prioritize investigating his disappearance

The killing took place in Iberia Parish Sheriff’s jurisdiction – the same place a Black judge was targeted for speaking out against racism.

In 2021, Irvin, the last person to see Quawan alive, was arrested. Later that year, Quawan’s mother filed a lawsuit against the police, Irvin, and many others involved. 

“They murdered Quawan,” said his cousin, Celina, “and there’s nothing that can make me think any different.”

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