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UPDATE: ACLU weighs in on investigation into teen's death

Posted at 3:30 PM, Nov 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-11 17:16:10-05

BALDWIN, La. — UPDATE: The ACLU of Louisiana today issued a statement in the Bobby Charles case.

The ACLU demanded a "full, independent investigation into the death of Quawan “Bobby” Charles, who was found dead under suspicious circumstances in St. Mary Parish on Nov. 3. Local law enforcement officials were slow to notify Quawan’s family about his death, and have consistently failed to provide information to the family, including the coroner’s autopsy report," a release from the organization states.

“The disrespect and lack of transparency demonstrated by local officials in response to Bobby’s tragic and suspicious death is unacceptable,” said Alanah Odoms Hebert, ACLU of Louisiana executive director. “We join the family in demanding a full and transparent investigation into the circumstances surrounding Bobby’s death. This family is grieving and deserves answers – not disrespect and stonewalling. We send our deepest condolences to Bobby’s family during this terrible time, and will continue to stand in solidarity with them and all those demanding justice.”

Yesterday, we reported that the family of a 15-year-old boy found dead near Loreauville last week says they have evidence that suggests foul play was involved in his death.

Quawan "Bobby" Charles was reported missing on October 30th in Baldwin. His family says he left home without permission with a 17-year-old friend and that friend's mother. His body was found three days later near Loreauville.

The family tells us they were told by investigators that Bobby drowned, but they don't believe that. They cite a graphic photo of his body circulating online.

Investigators at the Iberia Parish Sheriff's Office aren't releasing too many details about the case and say autopsy results are pending. But family members say a recorded phone call shows evidence of foul play, as activists suggest Bobby's death might have been racially motivated.

Bobby's disappearance and death have caught the attention of activist groups like Stand Black, which released a recording of a phone conversation between Bobby's mother and an unidentified woman. The woman on the other end claims the mother and son Bobby was last seen with were high on drugs and later used bleach to clean their car.

"I think that this shows at the very least potentially these people played a part in the cover-up of whatever happened to Bobby. You can definitely draw that conclusion if not something more heinous," explained attorney Ronald Haley.

Deputies say they've interviewed people in connection with the case and have collected physical evidence.

Since Bobby's death, a GoFundMe account has raised more than $88,000. The GoFundMe also shows a graphic photo organizers say is of Bobby's body. It's pictured next to a photo of Emmett Till, a Chicago boy who was lynched while visiting family in Mississippi in the 1950s.

We asked the Charles family attorney, who specializes in civil rights cases, about linking this case to Emmett Till and if there are any indications Bobby's death was racially motivated.

"They are children in the eyes of the law that died very horrific deaths and that's the conclusion that you could definitely draw from that. Believe me the cost of an independent autopsy is not cheap," Haley said. "Everything that's been done has been done in the spirit of getting justice and getting answers for Bobby."

The family attorney says Bobby's body will be brought to Texas Wednesday for an independent autopsy.

READ MORE: UPDATE from the Iberia Parish Sheriff's Office on death of Baldwin teen

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