‘Should’ve ducked’: Detention officer suspended over post on boy who was shot to death

After posting “He should’ve ducked”, regarding the 5-year-old killed by a neighbor in front of his two sisters, a New Jersey detention officer was suspended from his duties. 

On August 9, Cannon Hinnant, 5, from North Carolina, was shot dead while riding his bicycle in his driveway. The man charged with the boy’s murder was Darius Nathaniel Sessoms, a 25-year-old neighbor.

Image credits: Family provided/Wilson Police Department

While commenting on the case via a public post on Facebook, Rome Smith, an officer at the Juvenile Detention Center in Cumberland County, allegedly wrote:

“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”

Image credits: Facebook

As Daily Mail reports, the unacceptable post has been deleted, and the officer’s Facebook account appears to be disabled.

According to NBC, Cumberland County officials called the post ‘shockingly insensitive and racist in tone’. Freeholder Director Joseph Derella said:

“We will not tolerate county employees using social media to broadcast hateful messages. This is not who we are and we intend to pursue the strongest action available to us.”

Cannon’s parents said their child’s murder wasn’t a racial issue.

Although other social media posts have allegedly suggested that race was a factor in the 5-year-old’s death, his mother and father both have denied those claims.

Last week, Bonny Waddell, Cannon’s mom, used her social media account to urge people to stop comparing her son’s death to that of George Floyd:

“THIS HAS ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO DO WITH RACE AND DO NOT COMPARE THIS TO FLOYD! MY SWEET CANNON NEVER SAW COLOR, HE LOVED EVERYBODY. HE WAS INNOCENT, LOVING, SELFLESS, BEST BROTHER EVER AND THIS CRUEL MAN TOOK HIM AWAY FROM US FOR NO REASON.”

In an interview with KCTV 5, Ms. Waddell said her child ‘didn’t deserve this’, adding that she demands justice in the form of a death penalty for Sessoms. Through tears, the devastated mother said: “We lost a big piece of our family.” 

Image credits: Family provided/Daily Mail

Gwen Hinnant, Cannon’s grandmother, has set up a GoFundMe page to raise donations for the boy’s parents. Although the family had only asked for $5,000 for his funeral, they have now received over $800,000 from hundreds of kindhearted people.

Trying to explain the heart-tearing situation to The Wilson Times, Austin Hinnant, the boy’s father, said the suspect ‘was not himself’ at the time of the incident.

“I have no idea why he did what he did. It was literally out of nowhere. He puts a gun to my son’s head and shoots him.”

Hinnant shared him and Sessoms were actually friendly neighbors and even shared a beer the night before the tragic scene. The murderer’s parents believe their son must have been on drugs.

As of Thursday morning, authorities have not released a motive for the killing.

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