BALDWIN, La. – Quawan Charles’s family lawyers released a statement Monday questioning why Louisiana State Police did not issue an Amber Alert when the Baldwin teenager was reported missing on October 30th.
According to a statement from attorneys Ronald Haley and Chase Trichell, an Associated Press report on Friday quoted: “Louisiana State Police issuing them [AMBER] Warnings, were not asked for and are not part of the investigation into Charles’ death, Lt. Nick Manale, a spokesman for the state police, in an email on Thursday. “
The attorneys then claim that through their own independent investigation they learned that the Baldwin Police Department – based on their own claims – actually informed LSP of the disappearance of Quawan “Bobby” Charles from Baldwin on October 30, 2020.
“According to the Baldwin Police Department, they were informed by the state police that Quawan’s disappearance did not reach the threshold to raise an AMBER alert,” the press release said. “So what’s the log in this scenario?”
The publication then cites part of a Q&A section on Amber Alerts, entitled “WHAT IF THE CASE DOES NOT MEET THE CRITERIA?” on the LSP website:
If the current case doesn’t meet Louisiana’s criteria, there is a Level II Action Plan in place called Counseling for At-Risk / Missing Children. The Louisiana State Police can obtain the available information from the requesting law enforcement agency and forward that information from the agency’s current statewide media contact list to all media across the state. The inquiring law enforcement agency and their telephone number are listed as contact persons for the public. A Level II Notice of At-Risk / Missing Children can be updated at a later date if the facts of the case warrant. The Level II Notice to Vulnerable / Missing Children does not use the Emergency Alert System and does not interrupt programming.
Louisiana Level II – Counseling for At-Risk / Missing Children – for cases that currently do not meet the AMBER Alert criteria
“While Quawan’s disappearance may not have met the criteria for an AMBER alert, according to State Police, his case would still be labeled Stage II, which would initiate the” Counseling for Vulnerable / Missing Children “action plan,” the press release said . “If LSP had followed its own published protocol, the following form would have been completed and circulated to all media outlets across the state.” […] nationwide media contact list. ‘”
The lawyers add that, as far as they can tell, this never happened.
“Louisiana State Police never used their own Louisiana Level II Media Advisory form in response to Quawan” Bobby “Charles’ disappearance from his home in St. Mary Parish, Louisiana,” the news release said. “Had this been done, Quawan might still be alive today. Other measures could have been taken, or earlier.”
The press release said that Charles’ body was found on the night of November 3 in Loreauville after his cell phone was pinged on November 2, according to the Iberia Community Sheriff’s office. “
“According to the United States re-filing for historical cell site data, 724 F.3d 600 (Cir. 5, 2013), law enforcement agencies do not need an arrest warrant to ping a cell phone,” the lawyers write. “Which begs the question, why did the Baldwin Police Department and / or the Louisiana State Police decide not to ping Quawan’s cell phone for three days?”
According to the release, coroner did not provide Charles with any death time.
“But we now know that, according to the Baldwin Police Department, the Louisiana State Police knew about Quawan’s disappearance and did not activate the Louisiana Level II Media Advisory Plan,” the lawyers said. “We also know that, despite legal authority, no law enforcement agency called Quawan’s cell phone on October 30, October 31, or November 1. If these steps had been properly taken, Quawan’s life might have been saved.”
The declaration is signed by Haley, Trichell, Dedrick Moore and Ryan Thompson along with Stand Black.
LSP has advised KATC that they have not been notified of the case and it is an agency’s decision whether the missing person meets the criteria for an Amber Alert. Under the criteria, officials must believe the missing person is in danger and have specific information about the suspected kidnapping and their vehicle.
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