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Friday, 21 August 2020

NJ Detention Officer Allegedly Mocks 5-Year-Old Cannon Hinnant’s Murder: ‘He Should’ve Ducked’

A New Jersey detention officer, referring to 5-year-old Cannon Hinnant, who was shot to death in an execution-style murder as he was riding a bicycle, allegedly wrote that Cannon “should’ve ducked.”
The Facebook page of Rome Smith, an officer at the Cumberland County Juvenile Detention Center, stated, ““He should’ve ducked. Y’all always trying to sneak diss and discredit a black person being killed innocently by police. Blame cannon’s parents for not watching him!!! F Y’ALL.”

Screenshot from Facebook
NJ.com reported that Smith had been suspended, adding, “In a statement that did not identify Smith by name, county officials confirmed the suspension and condemned the remarks as ‘shockingly insensitive and racist in tone.’” NBC News confirmed the suspension, noting, “A spokeswoman for the county, Jody Hirata, confirmed to NBC News that Smith is an employee of the county and has been suspended over the post.”
“We will not tolerate county employees using social media to broadcast hateful messages,” Cumberland County Freeholder Director Joseph Derella said. “This is not who we are and we intend to pursue the strongest action available to us.”
“Records indicate Smith has been enrolled in the state pension system for 26 years and his salary is $56,678,” NJ.com wrote.
Cannon Hinnant was allegedly murdered by 25-year-old Darius Sessoms in Wilson, North Carolina, on August 9 in front of the boy’s two young sisters.
Sessoms, who lived the next house over from the victim’s father, ran across the lawn to Hinnant and shot him in the head at point-blank range as his two sisters, ages seven and eight, looked on, neighbors said, according to WRAL.com. Hinnant was in the front yard riding his bike. The boy’s father, too distraught to speak to local news on camera, was heard screaming after the shooting, witnesses said. The man rushed out to hold his bleeding son before Hinnant was rushed to nearby medical center, where he was later pronounced dead.

Sessoms took off in a black vehicle after the shooting and was not apprehended until Monday by U.S. Marshals Service Carolinas Regional Fugitive Task Force, Goldsboro police, and the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office, according to a report from WRAL.com. The suspect has been charged with first-degree murder and is being held without bond at the Wilson County jail.
Cannon’s father, Austin Hinnant, at whose home the tragedy occurred, recalled to WRAL, “They were just playing in the yard like any other day,” adding that he heard a gunshot as his fiancée walked into the house.
“The first thing that went through my mind was maybe he just fell off his bike,” he said. “The closer I got to him, the more I realized it was something far more serious.”
“I screamed, ‘Somebody, please help me save my son! Help me save my son, please,'” he continued.“They can’t imagine what’s it’s like to hold your son while he’s suffering from a gunshot wound to the head, as his blood runs down my arm … As they began to work on my son, I immediately dropped to my knees and I just prayed to God, I said, ‘God, You’re the most righteous and all-powerful. Please just place Your hand on my son.’ And that’s at the top of my lungs.”
“He did place His hand on my son, not in the way that we all wished, but we’re hoping that this tragic accident can bring some love to this world because that’s what Cannon would want,” the boy’s father added. “We’re relying on our faith in God.”

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